Photo: Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters
In April, two Russian cellular operator for the first time, refused inclusion in some plans, SMS messages. As explained in “T2 RTK Holding” (Tele2) and “VimpelCom” (“Beeline”), the interest towards the service crashes — users to chat in messenger
Mobile operator VimpelCom on Tuesday, April 25, has introduced a new tariff line to which subscribers will be able to connect in the coming days. For the first time of the cheapest tariff plan the operator has deleted the TEXT they are encouraged to buy later (on 1,5 roubles for a piece). In the new series “younger” tariff will cost the subscriber 250. per month (price for Rostov-on-don, Moscow and other cities, the operator has not yet announced prices), this price includes 250 minutes and 1.5 GB of mobile data traffic. Earlier in the cheapest tariff line “Everything!” was included 100 SMS at a cost of 300 RUB.
From the inclusion of SMS in the number of their tariff also declined “T2 RTK holding” (renders services under the Tele2 brand), according to data of the operator introduced in April the new rate. The operator has proposed a new line of “Mine”, consisting of four fares. In one of the Junior rates — “My Tele2” with a daily fee of 7 roubles per night — included FREE no and cost 1,5 roubles for one piece. At the same time on the other proposals, “T2 RTK holding” has reduced the volume of traffic included FREE up to 50 units. Previously, for example, at the rate of “Very black” subscriber received 400 included an SMS on “Sorcerer” — 1 thousand text messages.
The Internet instead of messages
For the first time to renounce the inclusion of SMS in the package tariff plans both Russian operator decided because of the decline in popularity of any such messages. Informed about the exclusion of such messages in some of its tariff plans and said the world’s largest Telecom operators, in particular the American AT&T, Verizon, and Vodafone. “We don’t want clients to overpay for huge volumes of SMS, which they are not — explains changes representative of the “T2 RTK Holding” Konstantin Prokshin. Instead we included in the rates popular unlimited social networks and instant messengers have become the main channels of communication”.
Press-Secretary of “VimpelCom” Anna Aybasheva also indicates that the use of SMS is stagnating. “The owners of the packages increasingly tend to replace SMS messenger, — she said. — Our research shows that the younger users rates almost do not use SMS”.
The incomes of the Russian operators from SMS decline at least for the third consecutive year, with increased revenues from mobile Internet, according to the consulting company AC&M (is at the disposal of RBC). In 2016, the operators earned on SMS sent by the subscribers to each other, 49.6 bln RUB, which is 6.4% lower than a year ago. The positive dynamics of revenue for operators to retain only an SMS broadcast messages, which are sent to subscribers of banks, retailers and other organizations paying to the operators of such services. The revenues from this segment increased by 27% and amounted to RUB 14 billion of the operators ‘ revenues from mobile data transfer increased by 10% to 233,3 billion. However, how much of that went directly to instant messengers, AC&M has not been evaluated.
While selling SMS as a separate service is also beneficial for the operators. “More profitable to take money for one piece than to sell in the package, confirms analyst “TMT Consulting” Konstantin Ankilov. — When the ARPU (average revenue per user. — RBC) is 290 RUB., each extra SMS average cost of 1.5 rubles — this is a significant increase ARPU”. He believes that the client would be to use SMS. According to him, the CMC ceased to be popular, the market is growing only by SMS. “The earlier TEXTS were cheaper than the call, so subscribers actively used this service and it has evolved — says Ankilov. — But then the voice became much cheaper and start to “kill” text messages and “finished off” their messengers”.
According to partner AC&M Oksana Pankratova, SMS was kept mainly due to the inclusion in the package where it was used, but often not in full. The non-use of services within the package rate still has not had an impact on the revenue of the operators, as subscribers paid the fare, regardless of the fact that they used the services or not.
Other major operators are in no hurry to follow the example of competitors. According to the representative of “MegaFon”, they are not going to eliminate FREE from its tariff, as customers continued to actively use this service, especially at “Junior” rates. A representative of the operator recalled that during the formation of the packages, subscribers are offered “what they really need.” Now the cheapest package “the Megaphone” the cost of 300 RUB includes 200 text messages.
The representative of MTS declined to comment.