SMS Archives — Page 4 of 5


There was a big story about SMS use declining in India. The response to a question whether Sri Lanka SMS use is declining like in India was answered in the negative by Supun Weerasinghe, the new CEO of Dialog Mobile (Hans Wijayasuriya is now the Group CEO).   The question was triggered by the decline of SMS and VAS revenues from LKR 1,468 m in 2006 3Q (8% of total revenues) to LKR 1,223 m in 2007 3Q (5% of total revenues).

SMS use declining in India?

Posted on October 8, 2007  /  11 Comments

TRAI: SMSs losing their flavour | The Economic Times NEW DELHI: Are text messages slowly losing their flavor with India’s growing cellular base? Even as operators say it’s too early to take a call and make such a ‘sweeping statement’, the figures, however, suggest so. Data compiled by telecom regulator TRAI reveal that SMS use has steadily fallen from September 2006. Consider this: GSM operators have witnessed close to 9% drop in the outgoing SMSs during the April – June quarter, as per the latest performance indicator report by TRAI. This implies, an average GSM user now sends about 35 SMSs per month as compared to 39 during the previous quarter.
The implications of mobile number portability (MNP) were discussed at a Workshop on Implementing Mobile Number Portability, held in August 2007 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The forum, comprising participants from the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, provided insight into the technical, regulatory and operational aspects impacted by the porting process, with a focus on the Pakistani MNP experience. The reasons cited in favor of MNP were classified into advantages to subscribers and regulators. The former were benefited by an increase in choice (of packages) and the eliminated costs of having to inform third parties of a number change, while the latter saw MNP as an approach to attract new investment and generate healthy competition. Operators on the other hand, were split in their views; new entrants and operators with smaller market share were of the view that it would create fair play in the industry, but larger operators with significant market power were, unsurprisingly, against the implementation of MNP.
It has been a practice at LIRNEasia to write an assessment of the responses to potentially tsunamigenic events in the region. We commented on Nias and Pangandaran. Now that the discussion on the response is starting, here is our take: Lessons from the Sri Lanka tsunami warnings and evacuation of September 12-13, 2007 The tragedy of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was the absence of any official warning. The September 12th Bengkulu earthquake shows that this is unlikely to be the case in the future. We have seen that the new institutions created since the 2004 tsunami have the will and the capacity to act.
On Friday, September 7, 2007, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights (MDMHR), with the support of LIRNEasia, held a meeting on “The Role of Telecom Operators and Broadcasters in a National Public Warning System” with a six of the eight major telecom operators, as well as several disaster management-related government agencies (NBRO, Irrigation Dept., Meteorology Dept., CCP, etc.), UNDP, and a few technical institutes. Mr.
Anam Mobile, a premium SMS service provider, says that global mobile operators are losing out on as much as €3.6 (US$4.9) billion of revenue per year through lost opportunities to create value-added SMS messages.   The €3.6 (US$4.
Dialog Telekom (Dialog) of Sri Lanka and the National Development Bank (NDB) of Sri Lanka will be launching a mobile payment (mCommerce) solution called “eZ Pay” this week. The solution is similar to a merchant accepting Visa or MasterCard credit/ debit cards for payments. If you know of anyone who maybe interested, please pass on and have them call the number listed (077 244 8888 or 011 244 8888) and an agent will visit you to demonstrate the solution and/or give more information. This is ideal for individuals who have not been able to obtain credit/ debit card acceptance machines at their outlets at present. For example, Grocery stores, Bakeries, Restaurants (Kade), Pharmacies, Medical centers, Tailors/ Clothing shops, Salons, Hardware stores, Taxi services, Home delivery, Stationery/ book shops, Accessory shops, Car wash/Service stations etc.

The days of SMS are numbered?

Posted on August 9, 2007  /  3 Comments

The days of SMS are numbered now that mobile email access is becoming a commodity, research firm Gartner says. Long the preserve of businessmen in power suits, mobile email is about to hit the masses with one in five email users accessing their accounts wirelessly by 2010, according to Gartner. Monica Blasso, the firm’s research vice-president, said mobile email had moved beyond the BlackBerry and was increasingly a feature of even low-cost mobile phones, driving consumer adoption. “By 2012, wireless email products will be fully inter-operable, commoditised and have standard features,” she said. “They will be shipping in larger volumes at greatly reduced prices.
“Hundreds of cell phone users in Minneapolis on Wednesday evening complained that they were unable to make or receive phone calls during the aftermath of the I-35 bridge collapse. But many people said they could still contact loved ones via text messaging.” Full Story

Flood, famine and mobile phones

Posted on July 30, 2007  /  6 Comments

“MY NAME is Mohammed Sokor, writing to you from Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab. Dear Sir, there is an alarming issue here. People are given too few kilograms of food. You must help.”  A crumpled note, delivered to a passing rock star-turned-philanthropist?
LIRNEasia research found that almost all Filipinos at the Bottom of the Pyramid send at least one SMS a day.  Here is data from the supply side: The Manila Times Internet Edition | METRO > Filipinos send 500M text messages daily FILIPINOS sent an average of 500 million text messages a day last year, doubling the number of text messages sent in 2005, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said. Edgardo Cabarios, director NTC’s Common Carrier and Authorization Division (CCAD), attributed the increase to the promotional gimmicks offered by mobile-phone service providers like unlimited text messaging, voice call discounts and the rising subscriber number. Data from the NTC show that the country’s subscriber growth rose by 23 percent to 42.87 million subscribers last year from the 34.

Emerging markets: who needs PCs?

Posted on July 8, 2007  /  0 Comments

Is mobile SMS or mobile email more appropriate for consumers in emerging markets? SMS would seem to be the obvious answer. It’s easy to use, established and still growing in such regions. Thus Comverse vice president Dror Bin is unlikely to be alone in seeing huge demand for messaging platforms in emerging markets. He says: “In some emerging markets PC and internet penetration is so low that the only way for end users to have any kind of data services – even to check the price of goods – is to do it by SMS.
14 June 2007) Rohan Samarajiva, Joseph Wilson, Harsha de Silva and Tahani Iqbal presented recent research conducted by LIRNEasia at a media and stakeholder event organized by the Pakistan Telecom Authority in Islamabad today. Following opening remarks by Chairman of PTA, Major General (R) Shahzada Alam Malik, Samarajiva and Wilson presented the new improved version of the six-country Telecom Regulatory Environment study, with emphasis on Pakistan. de Silva discussed the results of the Teleuse @ the Bottom of the Pyramid (T@BOP) survey conducted in five countries, including Pakistan. Among other things, he discussed the disparate access to ICTs between men and women at the BOP as well as the tremendous progress made in connecting large numbers of people at the BOP in the past few years. Iqbal presented comparative analysis of mobile prices in three countries of South Asia, using a basket methodology adapted from one used by the OECD since 1995.
The government of Pakistan seems set to issue three 3G licences by the end of this year, according to recent Reuters reports. Pakistan is one of a number of populous Asian nations whose hunger for more widely available communications services are proving to be a major growth engine for telecoms groups with global ambitions. However, it does remain to be seen if there exists a solid business case for investment in third generation networks in a region where the most basic prepaid voice and SMS services are stimulating economic activity by providing consumers and businesses with connectivity. This has not deterred the state-owned GSM operator in Nepal, one of the world’s poorest countries, from launching 3G services. The 3G SIM card reportedly costs about US$64.
The Indonesian government is to limit foreign investment in premium call, premium SMS and courier services as they are “businesses to be set aside for domestic small-and medium-scale enterprises.” The Indonesian Communication and Information Minister, Sofyan Djalil, said, “As we know, foreign investors can control up to 95 percent of businesses in all the telecoms sectors, but we have decided that foreign investment in jut a few telecommunications sub-sectors should be limited and left to local entrepreneurs.” Read more.
China has just 530 point-of-sale (POS) terminals and ATMs per million people, far below the 10,000 per million found in the United States. Accordingly, cash is used in 83 percent of all payment transactions in China, compared with just 21 percent in the United States. With most of these terminals and ATMs in China’s cities, practically all rural transactions are cash based.  One way to wean rural consumers off their reliance on cash might be to add more ATMs and POS terminals. But it would cost at least $2 billion and add just 130 terminals and ATMs per million people.