Messaging apps cut market for New Year's Eve SMSs
By Linger Liu,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A number of paid mobile text services handled by Taiwan's three major telecom carriers on New Year's Eve dropped significantly as free smartphone texting services are gaining popularity, the Central News Agency reported yesterday.
January 3, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone Telecommunications and Taiwan Mobile Co. recorded declines of 10 percent to 30 percent on text services on New Year's Eve due to the increasing users of free app services, CNA said. The carriers, however, saw an increase in Internet value-added services. Far EasTone Telecommunications said it experienced a 25-percent surge in mobile Internet movie bookings and a 10-percent jump in e-book downloads on New Year's Eve.
The advanced technology of smartphones enables users to explore options for free telecommunication services. Apps such as WhatsApp, LINE, and M+ allow users to communicate through instant messages, email and photo sharing services for free (users, however, still have to cover Internet connection charges). Those services have gradually changed mobile usage patterns.
According to Chunghwa Telecom, the number of SMS messages sent during the peak hours during New Year's celebrations declined 30 percent this year from last. Taiwan Mobile estimated the drop to be around 10 to 15 percent while Far EasTone posted a decline of around 10 percent.
Far EasTone said that due to the four-day New Year's holiday, many people went to Central, Southern and Eastern Taiwan, thus text services saw an increase in those areas.