Opinion and Analysis
Mobile operators killing SMS revolution
Posted Thursday, September 24 2009 at 00:00
In the Philippines, for example, according to telecom expert Steve Song, mobile providers charge less than one US cent per SMS on average. What is striking about this is that they manage to generate three times the revenue per capita from SMS traffic as compared with South Africa where the average SMS costs over nine US cents.
Also, in Uganda, for the first time in the telecom industry’s history, MTN agreed to lower the price of a premium SMS to 5 US cents for Farmers Friend, one of the newly launched Grameen and Google services, aimed at poor farmers.
Whether this is the exception or the new rule is difficult to tell, but what is clear is that network providers must choose whether they want to benefit from a downpour of mobile innovation, or will be satisfied with only a trickle.
The writer is a technology consultant and writer living in New York City. He blogs at inanafricanminute.blogspot.com