Tata Docomo sent some shivers to the ‘established’ GSM operators when they launched 1paisa per second calling and now they’re trying to attempt the same by announcing diet-sms that charges 1paisa per character excluding the spaces. Sounds too good to be true, right? In fact, it is but there are a few things to note before you jump with joy.
Firstly, as the “Diet-sms” name implies, this service is useful for short messages. Very short messages. A person’s diet message is capped to just 15 characters, which means the maximum a person can be charged for a diet-sms is 15 paise.
A Tata Docomo user cannot send an under 15 character message and infer that he’ll be charged on the diet-sms rates. He needs to send it to a special short code number that transcribes the text and then sends it to the recipient. I’m not sure how Tata DoCoMo handles this but if there are a lot of messages waiting to be transcribed, your message maybe queued up that could cause a delay.
A user can send a diet-sms via three ways:
Go to the SIM-based menu on the phone (called Dive-in Now), scroll to the diet-sms option under the English Language menu, open it and send the SMS; or
TATA DOCOMO has also launched a phone application which can be downloaded from TATA DOCOMO ‘Dive In’ wap portal, or by simply sending a SMS “diet” to 54321. Using this diet-sms application, the customer can send short text messages easily; or
TATA DOCOMO customers can also send a diet-sms using the normal SMS menu. They need to type the mobile number followed by a space followed by the message and sms this to the short code 52208
We Say: It’s a good concept and it will be interesting to see how other operators take it up. The most intriguing part I felt is that Tata is offering different ways to send a shorter short message, off which the standalone application holds true potential. Tata can easily plaster ads on the app, give them free diet-texts every day and they’ll be more than happy to view the ads. In fact, this is how SMS 2.0 of Airtel should’ve been. But hey, that’s a story for another day.
If you are using the diet-sms feature, do let us know in the comments.