Zimbabwe sees a drop in SMS popularity

cell sxc.huGrowing numbers of Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp users are turning away from using SMS as a communication tool in Zimbabwe. (Image source: sxc.hu)The popularity of cost-effective communication methods such as Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook, has led to a drop in the popularity of SMS usage in Zimbabwe

According to a leading local daily, per second billed calls, together with instant communication platforms, have given consumers cheaper alternatives to SMS.

The report quoted a network service provider, Telecel, as claiming that, despite being unable to provide detailed information about revenues, it could confirm that SMS-generated revenues were decreasing rapidly.

The results of Econet Wireless, an established telecommunications service provider, however, showed that the contribution of SMS and data services to earnings remained strong.

According to the report, Zimbabwe’s mobile penetration rate increased to 74 per cent from 66 per cent in 2011, and the availability of free platforms has resulted in a relative lowering of communications costs to consumers.

While platforms such as WhatsApp Messenger have a general appeal as cost-effective replacement technology to SMS, the report stated that the government’s need to control and regulate the information and communication sector was hampering the rollout of accessible, cost-effective technology to end-users.

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