SMS still accounts for the bulk of mobile data traffic and shows no sign of slowing down, despite the growth in general data services.
"SMS is the biggest messaging system in the world today, and it's still growing and growing phenomenally," said Peter Barry, head of venture capital and emerging technology at Vodafone.
"The mobile phone is still primarily a communications mechanism, and you can't afford to forget that."
The use of SMS in the developing world is picking up strongly, he said, and is still a huge industry in the developed world.
But Google believes that a new set of data plans has to be formulated for mobile data to really kick off worldwide. Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering at the search firm, told the MobileBeat 2009 conference that data use could explode with the right plans in place.
Gundotra cited a recent case in India where a carrier offered unlimited data for 100 rupees (£1.25). The offer caused a rush of subscribers and a huge spike in data use.
"We discovered this only by spotting a huge spike in traffic usage; it spiked at 50 times normal usage," he said. "As we get better browsers and data plans in the developing world, very interesting things will happen."
Gundotra also said that Google had hard data on how many people were searching with Google from their mobile phones, and said there was considerable and growing traffic worldwide.
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