SMS-All: Pioneer in Group Messaging in Pakistan
5 years ago
Idrees Butt, company COO tells me that SMS-all now houses over 400,000 established communities, with 1.5 million registered users, 2.5 million users through corporate clients and has exchanged whopping 4 billion text messages on its network till date.
SMS-all is a group text messaging (SMS) service for cellphones, where users can send a text message to reach one whole group of people who can return the response (SMS) as well. For the purpose, you can go to SMS All website, create a group (or join an existing community), add your friends and start communicating with them as a group.
SMS-all say that people use its services to discuss interests and hobbies, share news, views and gossip, inform and update others, coordinate meetings and events or to just chat with friends.
For detailed information and working procedures you can visit FAQ page on SMS-all website here.
Back in 2007, Dr. Umar Saif gave away this idea of group messaging service to four students graduating at LUMS, explaining that such a solution would fill the communication needs for groups and those who want broadcast channels using cell phones.
Asim Fayaz, Marium Afzal, Fahad and Ali Rehan conceived the idea and built an in-house system using regular mobile phone to send out text messages to a group of people, who could essentially communicate back to the system by replying to same text message.
For first year or so, system was made available to LUMS students/faculty only. Later, when it went public, Chopaal was scaled up by using sophisticated hardware to stretch system capacity and to support more users.
After earlier team departed, Dr. Umar Saif took the product along with new team to next level. They renamed the service to SMS-all.
Currently, Dr. Umar Saif shares company stakes along with Mr. Idrees Butt, COO and Waqas Farooq, company CTO.
Along with serving group messaging needs to over 1.5 million registered users, SMS-all is now aggressively working on providing communication solutions to its corporate customers. For the purpose they offer their clients to get their messages delivered to their respective end users against a tariff agreed mutually.
Though they didn’t reveal us their pricing structure for corporate users but maintained that businesses, educational institutes and political parties are on their client list.
Just to mention, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (short code 80022) and PMLN (short code 80011) are using SMS-all services for sending SMS based updates to followers.
Beaconhouse School System, Salamat school, Metro cash and carry and Oxford University Press are other notable clients at SMS-all.
With 111 million mobile subscribers in the country (compared with 20 million internet users in total), SMS based communication channels are clearly of high demand in the market. SMS-all has done all the hard work to be placed well in a competitive environment to offer effective communication tools to individuals and businesses alike.
Given that competition in SMS group messaging services is there, it is likely that quality of services will be maintained along with affordable prices.