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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Hi apps, bye sms

Supriya Sharma, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh , July 10, 2013
First Published: 01:46 IST(10/7/2013) | Last Updated: 10:25 IST(10/7/2013)

In the fast-changing world of information technology we have come a long way indeed!First came pagers then SMS (short messaging service) packs and now online messaging apps, which have thronged the android market and have given a new dimension to the whole new world of communication.

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With a number of apps available in the android market, we can not only send unlimited texts today, but with it share videos, photos, recorded voice messages, smileys and stickers to emote our feelings.

You name it and a plethora of options are readily available from where one can download an app of your choice. Whatsapp, Chat On, We Chat, Hike are popularly being used today by not only youngsters, but people from all age-groups.

With increasing popularity of smartphones and texting apps, it has paved way for instant messaging not only locally, but in national and international circles as well.

Moreover, people have limited the use of SMS with smartphones readily available at cheaper rates.
Research firm Informa, said that in 2012 almost 19 billion messages were sent everyday on chat apps, compared to 17.6 billion SMS texts.

These days, people of all age-groups are thronging mobile shops with the demand for smartphones and getting internet packs activated as per their consumption. Today, smartphones are available even below Rs. 5,000.

Raj Kumar, owner of Mobile Communications, Sector 15, Panchkula, says: "People don't go in for activating SMS packs as internet packs are in great demand. They are popular with students and we manage to sell around 100 net packs in a day."

And users of these apps are happy too. Shikha Sharma, 26, a student at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26, says: "Using Whatsapp is so simple and we can share pictures and videos instantly. Even on festivals such as New Year and Diwali, service providers charge Re 1 despite activating SMS packs, whereas here I can send wishes abroad for free. What else do we need?"

For Mumbai-based scriptwriter Gautam Govind Sharma, 27, "This is heaven. The best thing is no friend can say that he didn't get the message. Whatsapp shows the last seen time feature. It can't get better."

But what do the service providers have to say? Are they facing any loss due to this new trend?
"Smartphones have surely made net surfing a pleasurable experience for mobile phone users. Many net-savvy subscribers find these phones more user-friendly," says Asit Shekhar, the business head of Vodafone's Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and J&K circles. "We have recorded a 70% growth in year-to-date (YTD) data revenue, which can be attributed to faster speed, customised usage-based internet pack offerings as well as the latest technology which has made data usage more accessible on mobiles," he adds.

Well, service providers are happy, while users are happier with the trend of net-based apps catching up and set to offer more options to stay in touch.

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