After a decline in SMS volumes on Vodacom’s South African network over the past five years, there has been a surprise increase in volumes over the last six months.
The number of SMS messages sent on the Vodacom network per year peaked in 2011/2012 at 6.5 billion, and steadily declined to 3.8 billion in 2015/2016.
The decline is closely linked to the growth in popularity of messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Vodacom’s annual results for the year ended 31 March 2017, however, show that this trend has been broken.
According to the results, 4.3 billion SMS messages were sent on the Vodacom network over the past 12 months.
This is an increase of 576 million per year, which is a big surprise – especially considering the rise of WhatsApp in the country.
The annual SMS volume growth in the last financial year was thanks to a spike in SMS volumes in the second part of the year.
What makes the annual growth particularly impressive is that the first half of the year saw the lowest SMS volumes in a decade.
Vodacom said the increase in the number of messages was primarily due to the “Play every day” campaign (a competition with prizes) it started in December 2016.
“Customers can use the My Vodacom App or our USSD platform to participate in the campaign,” said Vodacom.