Goodbye SMS, Hello IM?

10:00 AM -- Mobile instant messaging is set to overtake SMS text messaging, according to a new survey by TNS . The research firm interviewed 17,000 users across 30 countries and found that among those that use mobile IM, 61 percent use it daily, compared to 55 percent who use SMS daily. But to put it in context, 8 percent of mobile users actually use mobile IM, with the most users being in Hong Kong.

U.K. operator Orange UK , for one, has not seen a mass exodus to mobile IM yet. The operator recorded 1.3 billion SMS messages per month between November last year and January, which is up 21 percent compared to the last quarterly data usage figures released in November 2007. But Orange has noticed that ringtones and wallpaper services are on the decline as more people use their own photos for wallpapers. (See Orange Boasts Data Usage.)

According to Orange's latest mobile data usage stats for November 2007 to January 2008, the operator recorded a 35 percent increase in mobile Internet page impressions and an 87 percent hike in mobile TV hours viewed.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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