Will SMS charges be kiked out of Cyprus?

It isn’t a spelling error, its a revolution against the ridiculously expensive and outdated sms service. We have been watching the spread of a great new service. And it’s been amazing! In 15 days they hit 1 million users and in less than 30 days they hit 2 million. (It took Facebook 10 months to reach 1 million users!)

Introducing kik, a free messaging application available on three popular mobile platforms, namely Google’s Android, Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s Blackberry phones.

For ages blackberries have been able to benefit of almost free messaging with other blackberry users using the built in Blackberry Messenger (BBM). However this meant that users were locked into paying for Blackberry Internet Services and had to wait for their friends to get a blackberry to join the free conversations too.

A few months ago, Whatsapp was launched to link, and provide a free messaging system between blackberries and iPhones, but there was a catch. Although blackberry users could download it for free, iPhone users had to pay a small fee for it. This limited the success of the application from the start, but it can be understood why the decision was made, as hosting such a service isn’t cheap. Update : Sorry, our mistake. Whatsapp is actually available for all three big phone platforms AND symbian OS!

Just over a month ago, kik was launched and went viral shortly after that. It’s available for the three platforms free of charge and works sort of like BBM, mixed with MSN/Live Messenger with a sleek design. Messages can be sent to any of your friends worldwide who have a kik username, FOR FREE!

The system works on wireless internet (wifi), 2G and 3G mobile networks. Which means that it would use your mobile internet package to send and receive messages. Lets see how that works for our wallets here in CY:

On MTN :

Without a GPRS databundle, we are charged €0.99 per MB, which is 1,064ish messages via kik, as opposed to paying €5.75 for a bundle of 400 sms messages.
With a GPRS databundle we can €8.00 for 250MB per month, which roughly relates to 266,000 messages via kik.

Doing the same comparison on Cytamobile-Vodafone :

Without a GPRS databundle we are charged €1.18 per MB (per the 1,064ish messages via kik), instead of paying €0.0197 per sms.
(The price per MB decreases to €0.59 after 20MB usages and again decreases to €0.12 after 100MB usages) Their dataplan goes for €9 p/month for 200MB (212k-ish kiks)

This means that if we compare prices for using one of kik instead of SMS for messaging we get this :

€0.00093 per kik (no databundle)
€0.01437  per sms
The price per kik on a dataplan is so tiny we aint even gonna mention it 🙂

(We have used MTN’s rates and have assumed all MBs would be used solely for messaging)

Also, kik works anywhere you have GPRS connection so is ideal for students who want the same messaging system both abroad and here in CY. This is a benefit for everyone who has friends, business or lovers overseas. The distance is straining enough, it doesn’t have to burn a whole in our pockets anymore though!

If you’re  an avid message sender like we are, have a look: www.kik.com

(To download directly to your phone direct your mobile browser to http://www.kik.com/m )

If you have any questions, drop a comment below and we will do our best to find you the answers or direct you to where you can find them yourself 🙂

Update : BlackBerry users may have to wait to download kik. More info..