US SMS Opportunity

I think there is a great opportunity in the US around SMS. Just like Facebook made waves first in the younger generation and then moved to the older set, the use of texting in the teenage segment is exploding. The older people still don’t use it, and tend to stay with their smartphones and the mobile Internet. My feeling is that SMS usage across the US will grow substantially in the next couple years and will cover all segments. The key driver for this, besides P2P SMS, will be SMS Subscriptions. This is one area in which we in India lead, and not lag, the US. So, can some Indian companies use SMS to get an entry into the US mobile data market? It is something that is worth exploring seriously.

My belief is that SMS subscriptions can be the foundation to build a mobile data play. India can be the ‘laboratory’ and the backyard in which new services can be tried out. The US market is different, but when it comes to SMS usage, there will be enough similarities which can help create the openings.

4 thoughts on “US SMS Opportunity

  1. Rajesh SMS is not huge in the US because you need to pay for receiving SMS. Sending is also very costly. They pay $0.20 for sending or receiving SMS. We receive SMS for free and pay about 1 paise to 50 paise for sending P2P sms and 3 for premium sms . They have 3G which means people can use IM on mobile , internet on mobile quite easily. So I for one dont believe that SMS is such a big opportunity in US

  2. I feel SMS is an alternate to sending/receiving email. Now with 3G in U.S. sending and receiving emails is easier and cheaper in US than SMS. And going future it appears that 3G and faster networks are only going to get cheaper in US. This will enable internet surfing over cell phones. I am not sure if SMS service can triumph in such scenario.

  3. I see heavy use of Blackberry / equivalent in the US (well, at least with the kind of people we are in touch with; which is not the ‘average’ American), and wonder if larger usage of texting will completely be skipped in that market..?
    Like how some markets (incl India) have leapfrogged over a generation of technology in other areas.. maybe US will simply pass over the SMS thing?

  4. Rajesh, As Siddharth mentioned above, having to pay for incoming SMS is a big barrier. We as a telecom equipment provider have been pushing SMS, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), etc. but the take rates are not typically very good w/ consumers. LBS (Location Based Services) couple with GPS enabled devices will help sell some of these advanced services down the road.