SmartPhone Users Moving to Instant Messaging Apps,Operators Income From SMS is Dropped

SMSes or text messages, which have redefined the way the world writes English, are experiencing a dip in popularity in India as the growing use of smartphones results in consumers switching to instant messaging tools such as WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and social media platforms such as Twitter.
Executives with leading operators said India was mirroring the international trend of subscribers sending fewer text messages and shifting to other platforms and this has already begun to eat into the SMS revenues of local mobile phone companies. The regulatory curbs on bulk SMSes have accentuated the problem. But with individual consumers accounting for 75% of SMS revenues, it’s their decline that’s worrying firms. Vodafone India’s ‘person-to-person messaging’ revenue dropped 22% to .481.6 crore in the first half of this year from .617.4 crore last year. Overall, messaging revenue, which includes MMS, bulk SMS, SMS termination and international roaming SMS, has dropped 19% to .639.3 crore in the same time, the company said.
The urban markets will see a surge in shift to new platforms. Social messaging has disrupted traditional services and operators revenues in this area will come under increasing pressure. The next two years will see an erosion of close to 40-50% of SMS revenues.  Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telco by customers and revenues has seen a marginal drop in messaging revenues. The contribution of messaging and value added services as a percentage of non-voice mobile revenues in India fell to 10.1% in the three months ended September this fiscal from 12.2%.

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