Bharti Airtel at the forefront of redefining ‘Twitter Via Mobile SMS’


Bharti Airtel – The name is becoming synonymous with front page news these days. The Bharti-MTN deal fall off saga is yet to shrug off and Bharti is at the forefront of yet another FIRST. But, this time it is all for the right reasons.Yes, Bharti Airtel has tied up with Twitter or rather as the PR article on twitter blog says , Twitter is proud to have Bharti Airtel as a partner.



According to the article on twitter blog here ,

As we grow, we seek to partner with organizations that share our vision for positive global impact. Our partnership with Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile operator in India, means a huge population of people can now send tweets at standard rates and receive tweets for free. Bharti Airtel is offering people in every city, every village, every remote taluk and even the smallest panchayat the opportunity to connect to Twitter and enjoy the open exchange of information with no added fees.

Twitter has seen phenomenal growth in recent times especially from the Indian sub-continent and the use of twitter through mobile has risen considerably. People with GPRS enabled phones are easily able to access twitter via their internet on mobile or various apps created specifically for accessing twitter through mobile.

But, given the fact that not all mobile phone users have GPRS enabled phones, Airtel is trying to void by providing a freakishly simple way of tweeting via mobile. SMS

Give Twitter a try with your Airtel phone by sending START to 53000

Could it be anymore simpler. A simple SMS can get you going on twitter even when you are on the move. I am not too sure about the pricing but from what I gather, it comes to 1 Rs. per SMS (or the standard SMS rates with your mobile). Sounds cheap, huh. But if you are anyways close to being a twitter addict, then 1 rupee per tweet can take your phone bills to unprecedented heights.

So, AIRTEL is betting on the millions of mobile phone users who are twitter addicts- GPRS enabled mobile phone owners to get its cash registers ringing. From twitter’s perspective, it is looking for an opportunity to attract more and more users addicted to twitter by becoming accessible via more channels, with SMS being the easiest and simplest channel of them all , at least for the Indian mass. To add to that India is one of the top 10 countries in Twitter usage, and also the fastest growing Mobile & Twitter market.

More than the money, what is interesting here is that AIRTEL has continued its legacy of re-defining product marketing/advertising. They were the first to come up with the Branded Mall Concept and if I am not wrong, this partnership with twitter is one of the kind. Moreover, the product clearly demonstrates AIRTEL’s intelligent sense of coming up with innovative products by identifying the evident gaps in the market segment.

All in all, a great product and a greater marketing achievement by partnering with twitter itself to promote its twitter related service.

The potential of the product is loud and clear, as Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone aptly puts it,

There are over one billion people with internet access on the planet but there are more than four billion people with mobile phones and Twitter can work on all of them because even the simplest of these devices feature SMS

AIRTEL is certainly making the right moves, at least when it comes to providing innovative Value Added Services and partnering with the right people to maintain its positioning as the leading telecommunications company in India.

What do you think? Can ‘TWEET via SMS‘ from AIRTEL get twitter a potential landmine of traffic from the Indian sub-continent or the (mobile savvy + twitter) will rather opt for the good old GPRS way of tweeting…

[This post has been written by our regular contributor – Ankit Agarwal an ERP Consultant by profession, a wannabe entrepreneur and stock market stalker by passion]

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