If there is any doubt that SMS is the single most popular feature on a mobile phone then this post is not for you. If there isn’t any doubt then yes, SMS is the single most popular feature on the mobile phone. After mobile phone, SMS is the best thing to happen to India. It is called as texting in some countries.
Either way SMS is a big market with unlimited potential. SMS is used for traffic alerts and other stuff by the government agencies. There are enough contests, which need you to send SMS to them. They charge anywhere between 3 rupees to 6 rupees. Based on that you can guess how big the market is.
Indians are avid searchers on the Internet. They lag other Asian nations and are ranked last by a recent survey. But, an Indian triggers 51 searches per month. A total of 1.2 billion searches were conducted last month. Wow. This is only expected to grow. There are close to 260 million mobile connections in India.
Now combine the search market with SMS market and what do you got. Killer application. This could actually revolutionize the way things work in the search and Internet market. It is predicted that mobile and not PC will have a greater penetration and more people access Internet via mobile.
Airtel introduced a search via SMS which would bypass the traditional connect to the Internet (GPRS) route. I am assuming they would charge 1 rupee or less per SMS and the number of searches conducted via SMS would be a fraction of the searches conducted via Internet. Even then, it would rake in a lot of moolah. I am sure Reliance and other service providers would follow but Airtel with its subscriber base and first mover advantage has a leg up. I guess the search is powered by Google.
This could potential solve multiple problems. I don’t have to connect my GPRS and download stuff and be charged by the kb downloaded. I don’t have to remember all the sms numbers to get different news and other stuff. This is like a one point entry for all your search needs. It would be interesting to see how they would send the search results because of the limitation on the number of characters in an SMS. I am guessing they would send more than one SMS to provide what your want.
Users need to download an application called SMS2.0 (no surprise here considering the hype around web2.0) by sending “SMS2” to 543210. There will no charge for the download and the regular SMS rates as per your plan apply.
I have not tried this yet, but I am raring to go. Have any readers tried it yet?