Saturday, January 19, 2013

Whatsapp disrupting carriers

Every festival time, our great mobile carriers hike their SMS rates. Even for those who have paid for an 'SMS Plan'. They send us a helpful note saying, for the next few days, we will charge you a bomb for SMS - your plan will not be applicable.

But right under their noses, there is a service called whatsapp - which is a platform agnostic messaging service that works across Android, iOS and Blackberry. And this year, most of the wishes I received were over whatsapp.Perhaps it made a dent in the service providers revenues, perhaps it did not, but it is disrupting the market bigtime.

As a service whatsapp is far more richer than SMS among other things. Cost is lower and offers a far greater user experience. As more and more people buy smartphones, and people take up mobile internet, the old SMS could soon be a thing of the past, except for perhaps service alerts and suchlike.

Now here is what service providers could do. First, is the obvious, hike their tariff on SMS even more. Or hike their internet charges (this I think is anyway happening, very soon, one way or other). But if they thought of it, they could perhaps create their own messenger service across platforms or even look for a tie up with whats app. Or drop their SMS prices really low. Or whatever else. But mostly, they will do the obvious.

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