SMSing overtakes voice calling in Tanzania

A report by Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) released last week shows a majority of mobile phone users prefer text messaging to making voice calls.

Mobile phone users are said to have opted to SMS with the number of net calls reducing from 4.76bn to 4.63bn in the quarter under review.

Phone calls declined by 2.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the quarter ending December 2011. Corss network calls slumped from about 240 million in the previous period, to the current 232 million, indicating a percentage decline of about 3 percent.

According to a comparison made on the report, the number of messages sent through mobile phone was 598 million last year between the October and December periods, as of March this year, it increased to 1.23 billion.

The revenues gained from the exchange of messages among various mobile users were about 20 billion from October and December 2011, it however rose to nearly 73 billion as of March this year.

Tanzania lead in the East African region in terms of average number of text messages sent per month per subscriber, with the number increasing from close to 280 million to 323 million in March this year indicating an increase of around 16 percent.

This statistics might not change with, Dr William Mgimwa Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, saying the government has increased taxes on phone calls to 12 percent from the normal 10 percent.

SMS is a synonym for short text messaging service, a feature element in phone, Web or mobile telecommunications system, which uses identical communication procedures that allow the exchange of short text messages between mobile phone devices.

As of 2010 worldwide, there was about 6.1 trillion messages sent. This means 193,000 SMS’s are sent per second, the SMS industry is said to earn approximately US$115 billion globally.

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