Mobile email will eventually kill SMS say analysts

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Mobile email will eventually kill SMS say analysts

There will be 350 million business and consumer users with access to wireless email by 2010, according to analyst firm Gartner, equating to 20 percent of all email accounts.

Although there are currently fewer than 20 million business users of wireless email worldwide, representing just two percent of all email accounts, with the increasing availability of wireless email support both in devices and from service providers as well as by improved usability Gartner expects wireless email to reach commodity status by 2012.

This rise will see email take over from other messaging services like text messages and MMS as they lack many of the restrictions these tools suffer from. It is estimated that around 114 million text messages are currently sent every day, so it may be quite some time until mobile email completely overtakes SMS.

"Over the next three years wireless email will become increasingly popular with both businesses and consumers," said Monica Basso, research vice president at Gartner.

"By 2012, wireless email products will be fully interoperable, commoditised and have standard features. They will be shipping in larger volumes at greatly reduced prices."

A longer term trend that will accompany wireless email adoption is convergence, as users choose a single tool to help simplify communication.

"Convergence will happen on the client side, hiding technology complexity from users and allowing them to focus on messaging content. By 2017, wireless email will be fully integrated with other messaging tools into personal, converged communications," added Basso.

This move towards convergence will have its consequences as growth in the consumer market will also rise as enterprises come under increased pressure to provide real-time communications for their expanding mobile workforce.

Another problem is that the increasing convergence of corporate and consumer technologies will also leave many user organisations exposed to increased security risks.

"Today wireless email is spreading across the enterprise and if not supported by the IT organisation, individuals will find their own ways to access work email on personal devices with significant security implications," warned Basso.

Rather than fighting the inevitable, Basso concludes with the advice that companies should accept the commoditisation of mobility products and rather focus on the full impact of wireless email on the IT organisation when planning a wireless email strategy.
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