The number short messaging service (SMS) beeps shot up this Diwali with traffic rocketing by more than four times compared to a normal day as mobile users across the country opted to send Diwali greetings through what is claimed to be the cheapest, most convenient and instant people-to-people mode of communication.
Compared to last year’s figure, the number of SMS this Diwali went up considerably because of an 80 per cent increase in the number of cellular subscribers in the last one year.
While the increase in traffic meant huge revenue for cellular operators at Rs 1.50 per message, it also resulted in network clogging. Consumers across the country had to bear with delayed messages with some complaining of receiving messages a day after the festival. Consumers also had to wait in between sending two messages. There were also complaints of repetition of messages.
In Delhi, as compared to 1.1-1.2 million SMS on a normal day, Hutch recorded over 4.6 million messages yesterday. Hutch had recorded around 1.4 million SMS last Diwali and about 325,000 outgoing messages on New Year’s eve. Similarly, SMS traffic on Airtel went up three times to touch 3.4 million as compared to 1 million on a normal day.
In Mumbai, BPL recorded 2 million outgoing messages and 2.5 million incoming SMS yesterday as compared to 1 million outgoing messages on a normal day.
Similar trends were observed in the non-metro circles with operators like Escotel, which offers services in Circle B states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, witnessing an increase in the number of outgoing messages from 150,000 on a normal day to 600,000 yesterday. Last year, Escotel had recorded a jump from 75,000 messages to 300,000 messages in UP and from 40,000 to 100,000 in Haryana.
Cellular operators say the network is capable of handling 60-120 messages per second, enough to handle the traffic on normal days. However, on special days like Diwali, the number of messages per second exceeds the capacity, especially during the peak hours.