Recent data of messages exchanged over the holidays revealed an upsurge in multimedia services (MMS) worldwide, even for countries that may not have enough mobile bandwidth.
Acision, a mobile messaging player, noted that across all regions in the world, the exchange of MMS during the last Christmas and New Year's holidays increased by as much as triple digits. Some countries even exhibited growth of as much as almost 400 percent.
Acision said the growth in the use of MMS is an indication that mobile phone users appreciate the rich media features of mobile phones, particularly video. In some countries, the exchange of video content rose by as much as 900 percent.
The spike in MMS usage was notable in Spain and Argentina, the US and India. In some instances, usage was more during New Year's Eve compared to Christmas Eve and December 25.
In Spain, MMS usage increased by 385 percent on Christmas Eve but MMS greetings on New Year's Eve was even more at 424 percent. Spain's usage was far more than the United States, which saw an increase in usage by 78 percent on Christmas Day and 57 percent on New Year's Day.
Worldwide, video clips were the most type of media-rich content shared with Spain showing an increase by 972 percent on Christmas Eve. "This proves the huge popularity by mobile users who want to share videos of festive activities and good fortune with friends and family not able to be with them during the holiday period," said Acision.
Video sharing in Argentina rose by 475 percent on Christmas but in the US, audio traffic increased by 289 percent on Christmas Day.
In India, Acision noted that one million MMS messages were delivered by a single operator within a 24-hour period, representing a 400 percent increase in traffic on an average day. The upsurge in traffic was also noted during Diwali, India's festival of lights.
Even predominantly Islamic Malaysia saw an upsurge in MMS traffic during New Year's Eve (31 percent) and New Year's Day (47 percent). On 25 December, the increase was only 11 percent.
Acision said the results were not surprising, particularly during festive holiday seasons. And the lack of high bandwidth capabilities in some regions didn't seem to deter users as well from sending festive greetings.
"This increase in the use of mobile messaging during the winter holidays is not entirely unexpected but it does confirm that MMS has shifted in our consciousness as a reliable way to reach loved ones with rich messages during this season," said Jorgen Nilsson, chief executive, Acision. "We put this surge down to consumers' increasing desire to share rich content and special moments, stimulated by the global phenomenon of social networking, which has also been made easier by the growing popularity of smart devices and access to networking applications."
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