AIR finds SMS news service unviable, discontinues it

New Delhi: A few years after AIR launched a free news SMS service, a decision has been taken to discontinue it as it was not proving to be cost effective, an official said.

A senior Prasar Bharati official said a review of the "cost effectiveness" of the SMS service had pointed to the need for its discontinuation as more viable alternatives, like a mobile newsapp, are available.

"It was felt the cost incurred on this service at Rs 10 crore per year was quite huge, so we have decided to discontinue it. A lot of people already access AIR news through its mobile app," the senior official told PTI.

The official added that the AIR website is another digital platform which also provides news. The SMS service was launched in English on September, 2013, to provide AIR News on mobile handsets free of cost. It had touched a database of several lakh subscribers.

Gradually, the SMS service was initiated in many regional languages like Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Dogri and Nepali.

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