SMS, which transmits up to 160 characters to a mobile handset, is the biggest driver of data over mobile networks, according to BT.
Over the summer, the Mobile Ibiza service was able to fill partially-full nightclubs in the holiday resort by informing club-goers who had registered for the service of discounted entry to clubs running below capacity.
Although the technology has been largely a youth phenomenon, business users are waking up to the cheap opportunity afforded to push information to remote users. Emerging technologies for locating mobile users promise more targeted services, for example, informing customers of discounts at restaurants, theatres or nightclubs in their vicinity.
The GSM association expects 15 billion messages to be sent per month by the year's end.