Text Messaging Featured Article

U.K. Text Messaging Spiked During Olympic Opening Ceremonies

August 02, 2012

Bill Dudley, group director of operator services products, Sybase (News - Alert) 365, wasn’t really convinced that when the London Olympics began, users would make as much use of text messaging as they would instant messaging, Twitter (News - Alert) and other social media or streaming video.

As it turns out, all those forms of communication--including text messaging--got an immediate boost.

In fact, SMS traffic in the United Kingdom grew steeply as the open ceremonies began, peaked, and then the departure from normal after the event topped 80 percent above normal traffic levels  between midnight and 1am, says Dudley.

“These are times when normal SMS traffic begins to decline to much lower nighttime volumes,” he notes. “We reviewed SMS traffic from other countries as well, but none were even close in terms of overall statistical significance as a result of the opening ceremonies.”

SMS traffic growth was in the range of 50 percent to 80 percent above normal, during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. On the other hand, none of the individual athletic events generated enough overall interest to cause a statistically relevant uptick in the SMS traffic, compared to the opening ceremonies, Dudley says.

Even at 4 a.m., we saw levels 20 percent above normal, in the United Kingdom, he says.

There was little doubt about likely use of smartphones, tablets, social media and video streaming, though.

Some 40 percent of those who will follow the London Olympics said they would do so on two or more devices, 35 percent of U.S. adults will use their tablets and  27 percent will use their smartphones, a study commissioned by Velti and conducted online by Harris Interactive (News - Alert) in June 2012 among 2,088 U.S. adults, found.

Of those using a smartphone who will follow the Olympics, 77 percent said they would use a browser (reading articles or blogs, viewing video clips, streaming live coverage or using social networking sites), while 63 percent would use an app.

Among tablet users, 80 percent intended to use a browser and 58 percent said they would use  apps.

Of those using a smartphone to follow the games, 45 percent said they would access video clips and replays, while 41 percent planned to stream live coverage using a browser. Some 50 percent of tablet users said they would watch videos and replays on their browser, while 45 percent will stream live coverage.

But there were questions about text messaging behavior. At least during the opening ceremonies, text messaging usage skyrocketed.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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