SMS ban propels demand for internet enabled mobiles

After ban on the use of prepaid Short Message Service (SMS) in Kashmir, the number of people in the Valley exchanging messages on Facebook has witnessed a sharp increase and that has also stepped up the demand for internet enabled mobile phones.

“After the ban on SMS services, every customer wants to purchase internet enabled mobiles so that they can exchange messages on the move. Therefore the demand for the same is on a rise in the Valley as the internet enabled mobiles are available at very cheap rates now,” says Ajaz Ahmed, an executive at a mobile shop here.

In India, Facebook is used by 42 per cent of mobile users. Social networking is the most preferred activity of a majority of mobile users around the world who surf internet on their handsets, a survey has revealed. And, Facebook has come as a clear leader among all the social networking sites. Facebook is also the second most popular site visited by Opera Mini users from India according to the ‘State of the Mobile Web’ report conducted by Opera Software.

A local, Jameel Bhat, says using Facebook on mobiles is a cheaper option. “I used to be in touch with my friend in Dubai through SMS but after the ban, I found making calls very expensive. Now, I chat through mobile as I cannot afford a computer and other internet services,” he says.

Adnan Mir, another Facebook user, says, “Facebook keeps us aware of the situation not only in Valley but happenings around the world. Therefore, internet enabled mobile is the best option to keep the whole world in our hand.”

Jasmine Kour, an avid Facebook user, also finds the social networking site a ‘good source of acquiring knowledge’ as it iseasily accessible on her cell phone. “Facebook is also a good source of acquiring knowledge and to surf it on mobile is easy and profitable as we gain priceless knowledge which our friends share,” she says.

Today, availability of content and ease of access have made users to suffer less by which internet enabled mobile demand is also touching sky in valley. According to the report, Facebook has witnessed 1686 per cent increase in its share since April 2010, while its competitor, Orkut’s page-view growth since then declined by 0.7 per cent in India.

Twitter has also seen and impressive 191 per cent increase in page-view since April last year.

Incidentally, keeping the high response of people in Kashmir towards Facebook in view, police too has joined the site. Besides regular updates about any happenings in the police department, it also monitors the activities of the people especially the youth here on Facebook.