A new study by the mobile industry analyst Chetan Sharma last month found that text messaging is on the decline and cell phone users are actually finding free solutions, such as freetext.com, that offer the effectiveness of texting without the monthly charges.
Measuring a quarter of 2012, the study found the average American sent 678 texts per month. This is the first time America’s texting average has declined, down from a peak of 696 texts per month the previous summer.
Experts say the decrease could be a sign of phone users finding other means to text message away from the network they use to make phone calls.
In the past, cell phone users had very limited options for communication and could only call or text as most phones could not connect to the internet. With smartphones now dominating the market, users have a plethora of options for text-based communication.
Users can use a free texting service like our website to send free messages with ease. Facebook messenger also allows users to talk with their Facebook friends in real time. There are also many texting apps on the market.
All of these methods rely on wireless internet connections or cellular data networks. These options are cutting off a key revenue stream for telecom companies, which generate billions from texting each year. Charging users per text have given way to competitors who offer alternative means to text.
Data rationing will take on greater importance in future years as more cell phone functionality switches over to the data network. Once new data networks are put in place, voice calls will be handled over the data network in a similar fashion to Skype and Vonage.
This should lead to companies streamlining their networks, which currently have to split data and voice networks. Instead of having separate charges for minutes, texts and data, users can pay for a simple monthly data allotment that encompasses all cell phone functionality.