Telecom operators in the country will witness a 7-8% dent in their August revenues following the government’s ban on more than five text messages a day for fifteen days, an official with the apex industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has said.
This comes at a time when telecom operators are already bearing the brunt of increased competition and squeezed profit margins.
?A 15-day ban on such services would definitely reduce the revenue stream of operators,? said Rajan S Mathews, director general of COAI in an email response to FE. ?Operators, on an average, get approximately 15-18% revenue from data services, of which SMS is a part,?
The ban was imposed on Friday after messages about possible attacks on immigrants from the North East states spread panic in major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, resulting in a mass exodus of people back to their homeland in Assam and neighbouring states.
When contacted, Telecom operators remained tight-lipped on the issue. Tata Docomo did not wish to comment, while Vodafone India and Reliance Communications just said that they were in compliance with the rules of the government.
?We have written to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in response to their directive stating that our member operators are trying to implement this directive to the maximum possible extent,? Mathews said.
Meanwhile, providers of bulk messaging services to a host of companies including banks, FMCG and retail have been impacted by the ban. Says Deepak Goyal, vice president, sales & marketing, Velti India, a provider of marketing and advertising solutions. ?As much as 90% of the enterprise customers are small and medium sized and they are the ones who are losing a lot about 30-40% of their business. This also includes some banks, retail chains, e-commerce companies etc.?