SMS: Big Nuisance, But Profitable for Business

SMS: Big Nuisance, But Profitable for BusinessSMS: Big Nuisance, But Profitable for Business

Mobile phone users often complain of receiving too many unwanted promotional text messages on a daily basis. Regardless of their content, the messages are a profitable business. In general, the promotional SMS is delivered through three channels: by individuals through personal SIM cards; through bulk delivery using special phone lines and, thirdly, via interactive messaging systems.

The Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) earns 62 rials ($0.0017) for each SMS sent through the second method, the National Press Club reported.

In recent years, many advertising agencies have started offering promotional messaging services due to the low costs associated with such advertising. It costs the advertising agencies close to nothing, while generating huge revenue for the advertisers. According to a telecom expert, one such advertising agency earns a whooping 130 billion rials (nearly $3 million) through promotional messaging.

The process of sending promotional messages is completely legal.

The messages are first approved by the Digital Media Center and then a contract is signed with the TCI. Although the Digital Media Center monitors the messages to prevent any inappropriate content, it is practically impossible to screen millions of messages exchanged every day; hence, the content is only reviewed in case a complaint is filed.

The first message in every series must clarify the message’s purpose and the charges mentioned at the bottom of the text message.

The tariff charged varies and is determined by each sector, but usually does not exceed 1000 rials ($0.029).