A new study from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) say the 6.1trn total represents a tripling of SMS messages in the past three years.
It shows the enduring power of the text, which is often overlooked in the obsession with apps, IM and the mobile web.
The ITU estimates there will be 5.3 billion mobile phone connections by the end of the year, with 940 million of them 3G subscriptions. In 2005, there were just 72 million 3G subscriptions.
It also projects that more than two billion people around the globe will be using the internet – up 600m on 2009.