Archive for January 31st, 2004

SMS Kiosks from Bharti

January 31, 2004

Bharti announced the setting up of SMS Kiosks – places where Airtel customers
can go send SMS at 1 Rupee a message without having a cell phone handset and
receive SMS messages free. It is an interesting development. With falling
phone tariff and mobile telephony taking off, STD booths are losing money. STD
Booths (the fallout of telecom revolution that was started by Rajiv Gandhi and
Sam Pitroda in late eighties) are the engines of growth providing millions of
jobs across the length and breadth of the country. With mobile revolution
taking a toll on them, many of us were very concerned; here is an innovation
that will give life to STD booths. In fact, it may offer new business
opportunities for growth. Many STD booths became Internet kiosks, but they do
not generate enough revenue for the kiosks. Second, wile SMS became youth
friendly, with their own SMS lingo (partly due to the need to do 170 character
long message, to be composed with one character buttons), the introduction of
the SMS terminals with keyboards might bring even other age groups into SMS
bandwagon. In any case it is interesting development to watch