The Inter‐Cellular Network Utilization for SMS Traffic in Pakistan & its comparison with Global Trends
Pakistan has seen has seen a stunning and remarkable growth in both, the mobile subscriber base and the SMS traffic , during the past few years. The mobile subscriber base is touching the figure of 100 million by the last quarter of Y2010. And awesomely, 151.6385 Billion text messages were exchanged during the Y2009. That is, 1532 sms per subscriber in the Y2009.
Around the world, SMS is used by four billion mobile users, who sent five trillion messages in 2009 i.e. approximately 105 sms per person per month, which are less than 128 SMS per person exchanged per month in Pakistan,and it continues to grow intensely. By 2013 the volume of messages will double to 10 trillion, according to Portio Research. That is, the SMS traffic will grow double in coming four years. The forward prediction can be seen in Fig.1.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) reported that in the Y2010, a total of 6.1 Trillion SMS have been exchanged Worldwide, from 5.3 billion mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide, including 940 million subscriptions to 3G services, which has jumped from 1.8 Trillion SMS in the Year 2007.That is the Text messaging has leapt three-folds in the past three years, with almost 200,000 text messages exchanged every second.
This SMS count proves why it remains one of operators’ strongest data revenue streams. According to ITU, the globe is currently earning 14,000 dollars every second from SMS that is, assuming an average cost of USD 0.07 per SMS, in 2010 SMS traffic is generating an estimated USD 812 000 every minute (or around USD 14000 every second) from 5.3Billion users.
In 2009, SMS revenue accounted for 12% of China’s largest mobile operator’s total revenue. The
Philippines and the United States combined accounted for 35% of all SMS sent in 2009. Much of the consistent growth of SMS is due to its ever-widening adoption beyond peer-to-peer messaging, such as banking, social networking, enterprise applications, advertising and machine-to-machine communication. For instance, Juniper Research recently revealed that global mobile banking services will be generating 90 billion text messages per annum by 2015, as banks seek to utilise SMS as a means of enhancing customer communications and services.
In this paper, the SMS-Traffic of Pakistan has been analyzed and is compared with international practices.
PAKISTAN-SMS-Traffic in Year 2009 (Approximate)
SMS traffic increased by 149% from 2008 to 2009.
- 2006 PK Messaging: Approximately 8.7 Billion messages
- 2007 PK Messaging: Approximately 22.6 Billion messages
- 2008 PK Messaging: Approximately 61 Billion messages
- 2009 PK Messaging: Approximately 151.7 Billion messages
Therefore in the year 2009, 128 messages per head per month were sent, against the subscriber base of 99 Million. The detailed analysis of the SMS traffic by five cellular operators in discussed in the trailing section.
Cost Analysis:The SMS traffic is exchanged at a rate of 27 Paisa (Rs. 027) per SMS in the year 2009. All the operators have offered very attractive SMS-bundle packages. Approximately 80% of the total SMS traffic is exchanged over bundle packages and rest 20% on flat rate of Rs.1/sms. An average bundled package of 700-SMS/ Month is approximately for Rs. 60. According to these two rates, the revenue for SMS-traffic is calculated to be approximately 40.76 Billion.
Analysis of SMS traffic in Pakistan in 2nd Half-Y2009.
Total on-net, off-net and International traffic of Pakistan can be seen in the following graph.
The graph above shows the total sms traffic scenario of Pakistan during the 2H-2009. Ideally the national outgoing traffic should balance out the total Incoming traffic of the total network of the country but this difference of about 2.1% may be due to many factors like the error due to approximation of data or a delta error in counting etc. The on-net traffic is less than the off-net traffic and this trend is observed in all five operators.
Month wise comparison of Total Incoming, outgoing and International SMS Traffic of Pakistan
Zong and Mobilink has more outgoing traffic than the incoming traffic. Ufone has the highest SMS traffic on the network. The out and incoming traffic of Mobilink is almost balanced in each month respectively. Telenor has quite high incoming than its outgoing. Following is the dissection of the traffic of all the operators network.
Ufone SMS Traffic
Mobilink SMS Traffic
Telenor SMS Traffic
Zong SMS Traffic
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Note **: Ufone provided the data for 8 days (june09).The data has been approximated from the provided data .
Note ***: Ufone , Mobilink have not provided their incomming Int'l SMs count. Warid Int’l Outgoin as well as Incoming traffic data is missing. Ufone’s international incoming has been approximted through the available ratio of Int’l out to Incoming traffic.