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More SMS Messages Sent In 2009

Think back: There was a time before text messaging.  Now my phone comes loaded with plenty of alternatives: Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk and Blackberry Messenger.  The instant messaging options don't end there but has that lowered the use of traditional SMS? Not at all, says new data from CTIA-The Wireless Association.

The semi-annual survey reports 1.5 trillion SMS messages were sent in 2009.  That's up from just over one trillion in 2008 and amounts to nearly five million messages per day by the end of the year.

Picture and other multimedia messages (MMS) have shot up too, more than doubling in 2009.  Data reveals 24.2 billion MMS messages were sent in the last half of 2009, as compared to 9.3 billion for the same period in 2008.

But, there were more people with data-capable devices in 2009.  The figure was up by 29 million, at 257 million devices.  What I would like to know: are the figures increasing because more people have the capability or because users are have become increasingly fond of text messaging?  And why, when the alternatives fall within their data plan, do they continue to choose SMS?