Text Messages in Canada Top 4 Billion in 2006 - 2006 volume almost triples over the previous year



    OTTAWA, March 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications
Association announced today that mobile phone customers sent more than
4.3 billion person-to-person text messages in 2006, almost triple the
1.5 billion messages sent in 2005. Text message volumes peaked in
December 2006 at more than 560 million in that month alone, which represents
more than 18 million per day.
    In the first North American initiative of its kind, Canada introduced
inter-carrier text messaging in 2002. This allowed customers of Canada's
wireless carriers to send SMS (Short Message Service) text messages by simply
addressing their message to a recipient's wireless phone number, regardless of
the recipient's service provider. This was followed less than a year later
with the introduction of cross-border inter-carrier text messaging that
allowed Canadians to text message with friends and colleagues in the United
States. In July 2005, Canada's wireless service providers introduced
inter-carrier multimedia message services (MMS), commonly referred to as
picture messaging or video messaging.
    "Although text messaging volumes have been doubling year-over-year since
2002, the extraordinary surge in 2006 is directly related to Canadians'
continuing adoption of wireless data services," said Peter Barnes, President
and CEO of CWTA. "Canadians continue to be the world's second largest
consumers of wireless voice minutes at an average of 400 minutes per month.
However, non-voice services such as text messaging, e-mail, gaming, ringtones,
music and video now account for more than $1 billion in yearly service
provider revenue."
    At the end of 2006, Canadian wireless phone subscribers numbered
18.5 million, representing a national wireless penetration rate of
approximately 58%. Recent CWTA research estimates wireless penetration in
major urban centres has exceeded 70%, with some greater metropolitan areas
approaching the 80% mark.
    More information about text messaging can be found at www.TXT.ca,
Canada's Text Messaging Resource Centre.

    Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA)

    CWTA is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in
Canada. It represents cellular, PCS, messaging, mobile radio, fixed wireless
and mobile satellite carriers as well as companies that develop and produce
products and services for the industry. Visit the Association's Web site at
www.cwta.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Marc Choma, (613) 233-4888, ext. 207,
mchoma@cwta.ca

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Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association

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