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NDTV Partners With July Systems For SMS Service

NDTV Convergence has tied up with mobile technology company July Systems for a free SMS service. The service, titled MiSMS, will enable users to fetch news, videos, stocks and cricket scores hosted on NDTV Active through SMS. Afaqs quotes Rajesh TS Reddy, co-founder and president of July Systems, stating that this will allow non GPRS users to access content hosted on the Active portal. July will monetize the service by placing banners, videos and contextual text ads targeted according to location, content and the profile of the user. At first I was under the impression this service would be for content what SMSCountry’s SMS2Email service is for email. I tried out the MiNews service to find it merely returned the wap link to the news page on NDTV’s mobile portal. The stated quote of this helping non GPRS users access content is null and void since all you get if you don’t have a GPRS connection is a dead link and not content fetched from the portal as the release claims. Moreover, considering you spending Rs 3 when messaging the keyword to 56388, it’s not free content either, considering there is no content included in the SMS.

Sanjay Trehan, CEO, NDTV Convergence, adds that they expect the service to clock Rs 4.3 crores in revenue, which would comprise 15% of their total revenue. Wouldn’t that bring NDTV Convergence’s revenue to approximately Rs 29 crores? Trehan also adds that NDTV Active receives 15,000 visitors a day, which Convergence plans to increase to 1,00,000 in the next six months.

6 Responses to “NDTV Partners With July Systems For SMS Service”

  1. Gautam,

    Its an interesting question and i must add you are not the first one who is surprised . 36.6% seems totally out of the charts. But It is not a wild prediction by any means.

    TRAI reports "There are 57.83 million wireless Internet subscribers (capable of accessing Internet through mobile handset (GSM/ CDMA)) for the quarter ending December 2007."

    "The subscriber base for wireless services has increased from 209.07 million for the quarter ending September 2007 to 233.62 million in quarter ending December 2007,

    Based on December 2007 numbers, the percentage is close to 25% .

    So the 2008 number growing to 36.6% may be a little optimistic but not off the charts. The current number are more that 25% and definitely not 2% – 3% :-)

    And therein lies the opportunity.
    Julian

    TRAI Report – http://www.trai.gov.in/trai/upload/PressReleases/555/pr10april08no33.pdf

  2. Gautam

    Julian/Cerius

    The emarketer report that Julian references in his note, indicates that the mobile internet penetration rate in India is about 36.6%. Isn't that totally off the charts? I thought the % was more like 2% to 3% – people who use their GPRS connection to actually browse the internet via their mobile browser. Can one of you throw more light on this. Thanks

  3. Cerius
    Appreciate your article on July Systems.

    However, I found a couple of points that I would like to provide you with some additional information relevant to your readers.

    afaqs quotes Rajesh on "MiSMS is for people who don't access GPRS" and not "non-GPRS" users as you indicate, implying users who do not have GPRS activated.

    The reason for MiSMS existence is to address a large gap between the number of people who have Internet enabled on their mobile in India – which is significant; and based on our understanding and research, the number of people who access the mobile internet (GPRS, WAP etc) in India – which is very limited.

    The reason for this gap is identified as follows:

    a. The internet penetration in India is far lower than that of mobile internet – so knowledge of the the internet itself is not pervasive
    b. They also do not have reasons to use the mobile internet
    c. Mobile users don't understand using the internet on their mobile phones.

    MiSMS is not targeted at users who access the mobile internet today but at users who do not access the mobile internet for the reasons mentioned above.

    MiSMS provides a compelling reason for using the Internet on the mobile (i.e. news, cricket and stock quotes) and provides a access mechanism that is more familiar than typing URLs (i.e. send a keyword to short code like sms 56388)

    I’m sure you will agree that India is a very unique market and we need to address this market especially the undeserved markets like the non metros and non-tier 1 circles, differently.

    Do feel free to contact me and I’ll be more than happy to provide you with more information on MiSMS.

    Julian Philips
    VP – Product Management & Marketing
    July Systems

    PS : some reports you might find interesting :

    **Brazil, Russia, India and China Set for Mobile Boom – http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?id=1006363&src=article_head_sitesearch

  4. Not sure what this story is about.
    There is no insight, no analysis – straight lift from agency faqs.

    How do you provide data to users using GPRS, if they are non GPRS users.?

    From what I understand it is not a Free SMS service. It just looks like a mechanism to provide a WAP link, on request through short code. Play of words?