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Whatever happened to paging? Back in 1995, when paging services were allowed, it flourished because it was the first unbundling of telecom services.

Print Edition: April 6, 2008

Paging services killed by SMS
Paging services killed by SMS
Whatever happened to paging? Back in 1995, when paging services were allowed, it flourished because it was the first unbundling of telecom services. By the middle of 1996, there were 200,000 paging subscribers and the number hit a peak of 700,000 users in the middle of 1999.

However, the National Telecom Policy 1999 (NTP 1999), which spurred mobile telephony, was devastating for the industry. By March 2003, the number of paging subscribers had collapsed to under 300,000. Despite paging providers demanding relief from the government, what finally killed them was not government policy, but the popularity of Short Message Service (SMS).

By 2003, four of the 10 companies that offered the services had died out. The rest died out within five years and many of the people who worked in the paging industry went as the first employees of the embroyonic call centre industry.

Kushan Mitra

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