CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, March 17 /PRNewswire/ --

Basic SMS text messaging will be a key revenue driver for mobile network operators in Africa and the Middle East over the next five years, helping to offset continuing declines in average revenue per subscriber (ARPS) for mobile voice services in the regions, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (, the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network (

Leveraging SMS to Attract the Low End of the Income Scale examines how operators in Africa and the Middle East can leverage the SMS platform to boost revenue from the largest, lowest-income subscriber segments. The 14-page report, part of Pyramid's new Africa/Middle East Telecom Insider report series, examines peer-to-peer SMS in the region, a service that accounted for about 60 percent of total mobile data revenue in AME in 2008, and will continue to be the largest single contributor to data revenue over the forecast period. It also analyzes some of the latest and most successful SMS-based services, examining in detail how operators have implemented four of these services in three key markets: South Africa, Egypt, and the UAE. Download an excerpt of this report here:

The fast subscriber growth that operators in Africa and the Middle East are witnessing - a 39 percent annual CAGR over the past four years and about an 8 percent annual CAGR over the next four years - poses some serious challenges related to network efficiency and declining ARPS, notes Badii Kechiche, analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report. Mobile voice ARPS has been declining at a rate of more than 10.5 percent annually over the past four years because of increasing competition and an expanding base of lower-income subscribers, pushing operators to focus on data services in order to translate subscriber growth into revenue growth, he says.

In Africa and the Middle East, SMS revenue is expected to almost double to nearly US$12 billion in 2013, far exceeding the revenues of higher-end data services such as MMS or mobile broadband, Kechiche says. The significance of this development goes beyond the revenue opportunity coming directly from peer-to-peer SMS, he notes. Several operators have found ways to capitalize on subscribers' new familiarity with SMS to increase not only their data ARPS, but their voice ARPS, too. The growing popularity of SMS within the region will allow operators to use SMS-based value-added services, sometimes in conjunction with instant-message USSD services, to boost voice ARPS among the mass base of lower-income subscribers.

Leveraging SMS to Attract the Low End of the Income is part of Pyramid Research's Africa/Middle East Telecom Insider report series. Telecom Insiders are packed with trend analysis, industry best practices, market sizing and forecasting, competitor analysis, and case studies, providing you information you can leverage to make better business decisions.

Download an excerpt of this report here:

Leveraging SMS to Attract the Low End of the Income Scale is priced at US$595 and can be purchased online here: or by contacting Jeff Claudino via email at or telephone at +1-619-229-9940.

About Pyramid Research

Pyramid Research ( offers practical solutions to the complex demands our clients face in the telecommunications, media and technology industries. Our analysis is uniquely positioned at the intersection of emerging markets, emerging technologies and emerging business models, powered by the bottom-up methodology of our market forecasts for over 100 countries-a distinction that has remained unmatched for more than 25 years. As the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network, Pyramid Research works with Heavy Reading, providing the communications industry's most comprehensive market data, trusted research and insightful technology analysis.

About Light Reading

Founded in 2000, Light Reading ( is the leading online media, research, and focused event company serving the US$3 trillion worldwide communications market. is the ultimate source for technology and financial analysis of the communications industry, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading's research arms, Heavy Reading and Pyramid Research, provide the most comprehensive communications research, market data, and technology analysis in close to 100 markets around the world. Light Reading produces nearly 20 targeted communications events including TelcoTV, Ethernet Expo New York and Ethernet Expo London, The Tower Summit @ CTIA, and Optical Expo, as well as focused one-day events tailored for cable, mobile, and wireline executives. Light Reading was acquired by United Business Media in August 2005 and operates as a unit of TechWeb.

About TechWeb

TechWeb (, the global leader in business technology media, is an innovative business focused on serving the needs of technology decision-makers and marketers worldwide. TechWeb produces the most respected and consumed media brands in the business technology market. Today, more than 13.3 million* business technology professionals actively engage in our communities created around our global face-to-face events, Interop, Web 2.0, Black Hat, and VoiceCon; online resources such as the TechWeb Network, Light Reading, Intelligent Enterprise,,, and The Financial Technology Network; and the market leading, award-winning InformationWeek, TechNet Magazine, MSDN Magazine, and Wall Street Technology magazines. TechWeb also provides end-to-end services including next-generation performance marketing, integrated media, research, and analyst services. TechWeb is a division of United Business Media, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than US$2.5 billion.

*13.3 million business decision-makers: based on number of monthly connections

About United Business Media Limited

UBM (UBM.L) focuses on two principal activities: worldwide information distribution, targeting and monitoring; and, the development and monetisation of B2B communities and markets. UBM's businesses inform markets and serve professional commercial communities - from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewelry traders, from farmers to pharmacists - with integrated events, online, print and business information products. Our 6,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organized into specialist teams that serve these communities, bringing buyers and sellers together, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently. For more information, go to

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