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AOL eyes bigger pie of vernacular SMS mkt

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, June 7: US based Tegic, the wholly owned subsidiary of America Online Inc (AOL) LLC, is aiming at a bigger pie of the language short message services (SMS) market in India.

The company, developing embedded software that enhances communication in small mobile devices, is looking at the potential SMS market in the semi-urban and rural India.

'' With the increased mobile penetration in India, SMS market in India is poised to grow to Rs 180 billion by 2010 from Rs 12.3 billion in 2004. In value terms the market size is Rs 695 crore now.

The availability of vernacular SMS will help in faster growth of the market,'' AOL's wireless division's senior country manager (India) Mridul Srivastava said.

The company, which has already introduced the Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu version of T9 text inpur software, today launched the Bengali version of the 'T9 text input software', which would make SMS in Bengali easier. Tegic would launch the Gujarati and Kannada versions shortly.

''We are in talks with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of the mobiles to include the software in their handsets.

There is huge opportunity since an industry study estimates that 29 million new handsets will be added in India in 2006,'' Srivastava said.

The company is working to develop a mobile search engine like the one in desktops to enable easier navigation of sites, he said.


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