According to The Nielsen Co. SMS (Short Message Service) is now the main reason to own a cell phone, according to teens in the U.S. SMS, which was created as a testing and communication system for cellular network technicians, is limited to 160 characters per message but has proved well-suited to consumers around the world. The pace at which the average U.S. teens is now using SMS comes out to six messages per waking hour, according to Nielsen.
Teens also are using much more data on their phones, with a gain to 62MB per month from 14MB a year earlier, Nielsen said. Meanwhile, mobile users in the 13-17 age group are talking less, now averaging 646 minutes per month, down 14 percent from last year.
Texting is easier and faster than making a voice call, as well as more fun, teens told Nielsen. Among teens, the mobile Web has now outpaced earlier mobile data offerings, including pre-installed games, ringtone downloads and instant messaging.
Nielsen said its findings came from analyzing the cell phone bills of more than 60,000 mobile subscribers and survey data from more than 3,000 teens.