SMS fading in popularity in Zimbabwe
The advent of new, cost-effective methods of communication – including Skype, WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook – in Zimbabwe has diluted the impact of Short Message Service (SMS) claims a report in The Standard.
Per second billed calls, together with these instant communication platforms, has empowered consumers with cheaper alternatives to the SMS, which is beginning to be viewed as older messaging system technology with limited functionality and high rates.
The report quotes one network service provider, Telecel, as claiming that although it could not provide detailed information about revenues, it can confirm that SMS-generated revenues are decreasing.
The results of Econet Wireless, an established telecommunications service provider, shows that the contribution of SMS and data services to earnings remains strong.
According to the report Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration rate increased to 74% from 66% in 2011 and the availability of free platforms has resulted in a relative lowering of communications costs to consumers.
Although platforms like WhatsApp Messenger has general appeal as cost-effective replacement technology to SMS, the report states that government’s need to control and regulate the ICT sector is hampering the rollout of accessible, cost-effective technology to end users.