Pakistan’s telecom industry makes a huge chunk of money from mobile text messaging, despite the fact that 80 per cent of this traffic is exchanged through bundle packages which make messages extremely cheap.
According to a report released recently by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Pakistanis sent 151.6 billion messages in calendar year 2009.
PTA estimates that the average bundle package of 700 texts per month is approximately for Rs60 and calculates the revenue for SMS traffic to be approximately at Rs40.76 billion.
After taking all the above into account and averaging the numbers, short messaging services (SMS) traffic was exchanged at a rate of Rs0.27 per SMS during 2009. This includes the 20 per cent of texts that were exchanged on a flat rate of Rs1 per SMS.
Some of the data presented in the PTA report has been rounded off which is why there is a disparity in the incoming and outgoing texts. The authority mentions that ideally the national outgoing traffic should balance out the total incoming traffic of the entire network of the country.
PTA has in its study a breakdown of the average monthly texts in 2009. Ufone is the clear winner in that department.
This might be due to the most sought after SMS packages or the fact that their youth-oriented packages are much more successful than others, said industry analysts.
Telenor is close behind Ufone which might be a reflection of the success of Djuice. The remaining three mobile operators are doing decent enough and are neck and neck. But their volumes are less than half of Ufone’s.
Telenor receives quite a bit of text messages internationally and its subscribers send 16.65 million text messages per month. It is followed by Ufone and Mobilink with 12.23 and 5.59 million texts per month, respectively.