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The Text Capital Of The World

The Philippines is known as the text capital of the world. This is because the most number of messages being sent daily in mobile network servers are from the Philippines.

The proliferation and widespread use of SMS messaging in the Philippines began during the early days of the cellular phone craze in the country. In the beginning, mobile networks do not make charges for sending SMS. People have taken advantage of the service and made use of text messaging to communicate effectively with friends, family and acquaintances.

As time passed, mobile phones became more affordable in the Philippines. It is a common sight in the Philippines that even people belonging to below middle class can still afford to buy and own one. The existence of prepaid services also contributes to this, because people have an affordable alternative to the otherwise expensive postpaid options.

However, why is it that people in the Philippines prefer to use SMS messaging rather than calls to communicate?

In the past, networks charge calls by the minute. Even if you called for less than a minute say, 30 seconds, you would still have to pay the charge that a full minute call would incur. This, however, has been amended in present days so that networks now charge by the second.

In the past, people have found out that if what they could say in half a minute’s time can be fit into one 160-character message – Filipinos are known for using abbreviated words in text messages— then they can save a significant amount if they use SMS messaging. True enough, a Filipino saves seven pesos if they use text messaging in this context rather than calling. This practice still remains even if networks have made moves to reduce their call charges.

Filipinos have found several uses of text messaging. They use this to make friends, just to have fun. It is not unusual for someone in the Philippines to receive a message from an unknown number seeking a textmate. A Filipino teenager may use a cellular phone to woo the girl that he likes if he does not have enough nerve to confess personally. Text messaging is also used by a Filipino as a medium to share sensitive information without worrying about being heard by people he doesn’t want to know about.

Arranging and facilitating meet-ups between people has also been made easier by SMS messaging. For example, a person can cancel an arranged meet up even if the other party is already on the way. This benefit is one of the best advantages of SMS messaging over the traditional landline communication.

Because of the widespread use of SMS messaging, Philippine mobile networks have introduced an unlimited messaging service. Originally introduced by Sun Cellular, under these services a mobile user can send an unlimited number of messages within a timeframe by just registering using a certain amount. For example, Smart charges 25 pesos for a person to register to its Unli25 unlimited messaging service. In exchange a person can send as much messages as he wants until his hands tire, or his battery dies.

Submitted by:

Mikael Andersohn

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