7 Valuable Insights From GSMA : The Mobile Economy 2019

7 Valuable Insights From GSMA : The Mobile Economy 2019

GSMA Intelligence is an authority on global mobile operator data, analysis, and forecasts. As part of their 2019 reflection on the current conditions of the mobile landscape, they released “The Mobile Economy 2019”. Here are the best insights from their report.

1) Cellphone ubiquity reduces barriers for marketers

Source: GSMA Intelligence

The demand for SMS and MMS services aren’t going anywhere. In fact, we are at the precipice of a mobile marketing revolution. Read the chart above. Do you see the parallel between mobile usage and SMS and MMS marketing?

People regularly use their mobile devices to look up addresses, search for deals, and read about products and services. Take advantage of it and connect with your customers with an SMS or MMS campaign.

Our most successful customers leverage the growing popularity of smartphones with SMS and MMS marketing campaigns to appeal to: education, sale notifications, subscriber updates, service reminders, just to name a few.

If you’re new, we recommend that you take a look at our SMS templates to help you increase sales, boost customer loyalty, send appointment reminders, and much more.

Still not convinced that this mobile trend applies to your company or industry? Ask yourself, “what information are my customers looking for on their phones?” Would it be easier if your company sent them an SMS and MMS with this information?

For example, send your customers SMS appointment reminders with the date, time, and location. They can save time from having to visit your website for this information. Not only does this stabilise revenue by reducing missed appointments, but this also builds customer loyalty by making them feel important and valued.

2) SMS and MMS marketing will earn a place in mainstream marketing techniques due to four enablers

Source: GSMA Intelligence

SMS technology is a global standard that does not require an internet connection and reaches well beyond smartphones (think Internet of Things). The present limitations of further SMS adoption, especially in developing countries, depend on these four enablers:

1. Infrastructure 2. Affordability 3. Consumer Readiness 4. Content/Services

The progression of these four enablers will reduce current coverage and usage gaps. GSMA projects that there will be a 1.4 billion increase in mobile users from 3.4 billion in 2018 to 5 billion in 2025. For companies entering the SMS and MMS marketing space, there’s incredible growth potential.

If your company targets mobile users in countries where mobile services are limited, we urge you to consider the GMSA Mobile Connectivity Index to measure how receptive your targeted recipients will be, which will determine how effective your overall SMS campaign will be.

3) 5G will change mobile marketing forever

Source: GSMA Intelligence

The age of 5G is finally upon us. With a plethora of new marketing services now feasible, the line between SMS marketing and the internet ecosystem is blurry. The US and South Korea already launched commercial 5G networks, and 16 more major countries will launch it by the end of 2019. In parallel, 5G smartphones are already available for purchase. These advances will impact mobile marketing profoundly for three reasons:

  1. Faster page load speeds The average attention span is dwindling at best. The faster the your website loads, the less likely your customers get distracted and leave.
  2. Faster download speeds (10 times faster than 4G) Adobe’s Mobile First World 2018 report predicts that 5G mobile data plans in the US will bring online retailers up to a $12 billion dollar year by 2021.

Online retail stores can generate online traffic for an upcoming sale with an SMS marketing campaign that contains a web link. A 5G connection enables customers to shop from their mobile device with minimal latency, which can help prevent drop-offs. 3. Higher quality streaming Video content consumption is on the rise with the ease of mobile as a key driver. With a 5G network, waiting for a video to load is a thing of the past. 5G opens up the media playing field—giving companies the chance to reach their customers with video content without worrying that their videos will fail to load. Companies should look at using SMS marketing with links to video content on their website to engage customers.

4) All four enablers of mobile internet adoption improved over the last few years (2014–2017)

Source: GSMA Intelligence

As mentioned earlier, GSMA predicts that 5 billion people across the globe will have access to mobile internet in 2025, meaning that there are over 1.4 billion new mobile internet users yet to come online.

Although SMS does not require the internet, any growth in mobile internet use means that your pool of prospective customers also grows.

Even then, this still leaves over 4 billion people in developing countries offline for an undetermined amount of time. In reference to the ‘economic enablers,’ one third of these 4 billion are not covered by mobile broadband networks (the ‘coverage’ gap) and the remaining 3 billion reside within the broadband network but elect to not use the mobile network (the ‘usage’ gap).

There are far fewer obstacles in the way of attracting 3 billion people who don’t use a mobile phone by choice versus those that are in a coverage gap.

Note: Burst SMS offers SMS marketing services to 39 countries across the globe. For a full list of countries we service, read our Global SMS Delivery List.

Source: GSMA Intelligence

Do you do business in Japan or Israel? In 2017, Asia-Pacific and MENA regions showed the most improvement in scores for infrastructure, content, and services. We offer SMS services for both these regions.

5) Mobile is a powerful tool for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Source: GSMA Intelligence

Since 2015, impact has increased across all 17 SDGs.

In 2017, the United Nations, in collaboration with the GSMA, launched the Sustainable Development Goals in Action mobile application, which provides a global medium through which industry, governments, and individuals can collectively realise the promise of SDGs.

For businesses whose primary modus operanda is the SDGs, mobile use streamlines the way in-the-field staff interact with locals and report back to the head office.

The benefits of increased mobile use extend its impact to companies who choose to incorporate the SDGs into their repertoire of initiatives they support. Companies can easily get their entire team and customers involved with their fundraising efforts via SMS and MMS campaigns.

6) 16 billion new IoT connections by 2025; smart building and smart home are key growth verticals

Source: GSMA Intelligence

Increasingly, the hardworking, everyday appliances you find at home or at the workplace come with smart technology. Can you imagine your humble coffee machine making predictions about your breakfast routine?

We live in an age where anything can be a smart device through wireless technology, which links device, person, or location to the internet.

It enables brands like yours to listen to and respond to the habits of direct feedback from your customers. You can use this information to craft and send highly intuitive SMS and MMS marketing campaigns to the device that rules them all—your customers' smartphones.

By 2020, GSMA predicts 21 billion connected IoT devices. Two verticals that have the most growth:

Smart Commercial Buildings:


Energy efficiency directives continue to drive adoption of IoT technologies in lighting, heating, plumbing, HVAC and building automation. Directive examples include Europe’s Energy Performance of Buildings and 2012 Energy Efficiency directives, and China’s recent (13th) 5-year Plan. Such directives also put pressure on lighting, heating and plumbing vendors to launch smart products in a bid to be more energy efficient, reduce long term costs, and support the green movement.

Building automation and security/surveillance:

Commercial building automation giants like Siemens, acquired automation software specialists J2 Innovations and Englighted Inc. in May 2018, while Otis and Kone added maintenance service packages to their elevator selling/leasing businesses. Meanwhile, mobile operators such as Vodafone, AT&T, and Telefonica added connected CCTV and security analytics services to their IoT contracts.

Smart Residential Homes:


Smart home applications are being driven by advances in smart speakers, voice recognition, open-source software and smart lighting/appliances. Enabling home network infrastructure is currently the largest application. While home security devices (internet-enabled cameras, security alarms, smoke alarms and locks), energy monitoring (smart plugs, lighting, air conditioning and thermostats), and home appliances (a niche market consisting of connected fridges, washing machines and smaller home appliances such as coffee machines) will be the fastest growing segments.

Financing and M&A:

Over the last three years, startups and emerging companies like Amazon, Baidu, Intel, and Microsoft invested nearly $2 billion into smart technology.

Amazon’s acquisition in March 2018 of Ring (a video doorbell and home security camera maker), is worth more than $1 billion. It’s one of the largest deals in the smart home arena, along with Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs in 2014.

7) Normalization Of Mobile Entertainment

Source: GSMA Intelligence

To benefit from this unprecedented level of content consumption, a growing number of companies are launching creative content strategies that entertain and not just sell.

Businesses seek to strengthen their existing content offerings to reduce churn, up-sell/cross sell to current customers, increase referrals, or add value to their current services.

We found that mobile entertainment and texting go together extremely well. Whether you are in the retail, tech, beauty, automotive, or food industry, you can apply SMS marketing to every industry vertical imaginable.

Ready to take advantage of SMS?

As more customers switch over to their smartphones to shop and browse the web, it’s time to start thinking about how to use SMS to your advantage. Stand out with an SMS flash sale, promotion, or offer. It only takes a few minutes to launch your first campaign.

If you don’t have an SMS list, then you’ll need to start building one. We created an article during the holidays that explains how you can build your SMS/MMS list and how you can segment your list once it’s built.