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SMS Too Expensive For Google In India

It appears that Google has put its SMS Channels service in cold storage: I was just checking MediaNama's SMS Channel, and noticed that the services have been suspended. Why? Because of a rise in Bulk SMS rates in India it appears. We're probably a few months late with this info (goes to show how often we check our SMS channel subscription state), because it found a mention in the comments here in November last year, but we just thought it's worth a mention that the service has been discontinued. This is the second service that Google has paused (really?) or discontinued in India: It shut down its voice search business back in April 2012. Of course, the SMS channels do not deliver to the Do Not Call subscribers in India, so I haven't received a message in years. We had 794 subscribers, but we're not sure of how many of them were actually receiving SMS' because many might have been on the DND registry. What's a little surprising is the indication that it is due to an increase in costs. The Indian telecom regulator had added a charge of Rs 0.05 for promotional SMS, which meant that you could probably send around 900 SMS' for $1, but expand that across thousand of content sites and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of messages, I guess it does add up. However, we're not sure if content SMS via Google would be treated as promotional messages. So what pushed Bulk SMS charges…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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