Re: Could SMS Notifications be big business?

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From: Ian Andrew Bell (
Date: Mon Sep 25 2000 - 21:45:04 PDT

The main reason why SMS is so popular in the UK is the billing
structure. While I was in the UK this winter (deja vu, did I tell
this story earlier this year?) I watched my friends bang out messages
with abandon. Why?

The cost was 12p per SMS message, and 10p-17p per minute to MAKE a
call. The rub is that in the UK you don't pay for incoming mobile
phone calls, only outgoing -- the caller always pays.

Therefore, the game with SMS is basically to goad the recipient of
your message into calling you back rather than calling them in the
first place.

It's not that SMS is more efficient or effective -- it's a
cost-saving mechanism for cheapskates.

Because of this I doubt SMS will ever take off in the US the way it
has in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. In an environment where both
the caller and the callee share the burden of the cost of the call,
the motivators are much different.


At 10:31 AM -0700 9/25/00, Rohit Khare wrote:
>From RCFoC:
> (WHY SMS? -- By the way, if the idea of sending short text messages
> from your cell phone seems odd and you're thinking "Why would I
> bother," it probably means that you live in the U.S. RCFoC reader
> Jerome Davies points out, in the Sept. 9 BBC News
> (,
> that SMS is now taking the UK by storm: In June of last year, UK
> cell phone users tapped out 600,000 SMS messages to each other; in
> June of 2000 they sent 500,000,000. And considering that they
> typically pay about 17 cents (U.S.) per SMS message, that's already
> big business. Cahners In-Stat, in the Sept. 18 EE Times
> (, expects 244
> billion wireless messages per month, globally, by the end of 2004!
> SMS-type pocket messaging is likely to become even bigger business,
> and eventually to become commonplace in the U.S. as well -- it's
> because of the convenience factor of this merging of the two-way
> pager, cell phone, and Email -- and how businesses are already
> beginning to use it.
> For example, we've previously seen that in some Scandinavian
> countries you can buy a soft drink by tapping in the code on the
> vending machine, and in other countries, such as Estonia, you can
> pay the parking meter in the same way. Now, some UK real estate
> companies are automatically sending their clients an SMS message as
> soon as a house comes on the market matching their needs.
> Headhunters are sending an SMS message when a possible job match
> shows up, and soon, folks in the UK can sign up to be notified by
> SMS when their favorite artist releases a new CD. You get the
> picture -- it's all about convenience!)

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