Mobile messaging continues to be a strong revenue source for wireless operators in Canada and around the world, and it is only expected to get better. Last year approximately one trillion mobile messages were sent globally and it is estimated that figure will jump to about 2.5 trillion in five years.  While Canada’s three national wireless operators won’t break out specific messaging revenue figures, it is generally believed to make up the bulk of their wireless data revenue. (An upcoming issue of Report on Wireless will have more information on the carriers’ year-end financial results.) The mobile messaging metrics in North America, according to William Dudley, senior director of product management at Mobile 365, point to strong growth in the coming years. In 2004, there were approximately 200 million mobile multimedia services (MMS) messages in Canada and the United States, and this number grew to more than 1.9 billion in 2005.  Growth in mobile messaging traffic volumes was about 20% per month in 2005, resulting from an increased user base, he noted. Wireless subscribers sending multimedia messages grew from about 10% in 2004 to between 20% and 25% in 2005, Dudley said, adding "2005 was a great year" for MMS.  Growth in MMS usage can in part be attributed to the increased popularity of camera phones. Camera phone penetration has surpassed the 45% to 50% level in some markets.  Despite the increasing use of MMS, text messaging will continue to play a major role in generating revenue for wireless operators. Dudley estimated that SMS could be worth about $50 billion by 2010. He added that SMS usage should peak around 2009/2010, but MMS will continue to grow. Dudley made the comments at the Canadian Wireless Telecommunic-ations Association’s All About ME (Mobile Entertainment) conference in Toronto on February 21. The conference explored a number of aspects of mobile entertainment and messaging.  He noted that despite the advent of new ways of communicating, gossip is still driving the inter-personal communications market. "Nothing really changes," he said, "we just change the way we do it." Bright future ahead for MMSFor the rest of this year and beyond, opportunities abound in mobile multimedia messaging. Greater interoperability will lead to an increase in rich media messaging traffic. While it’s still early days for MMS in Canada – Canadian wireless industry stakeholders only introduced inter-carrier MMS last July – it is poised for growth. Just as inter-carrier SMS sparked significant text messaging traffic increases, the same will likely hold true in the MMS space.   Global MMS interoperability was a major focus at the 3GSM World Congress event in Barcelona earlier this month. A number of carriers participated in an announcement aimed at making worldwide MMS interoperability a reality.  The hope is that wireless subscribers will be able to send messages to and receive messages from other users, regardless of the country in which they live. Work has already begun here in North America to make MMS interoperable for carriers both north and south of the 49th parallel.  Report on Wireless will present more articles from the CWTA’s All About ME (Mobile Entertainment) conference in an upcoming issue.