RE: Could SMS Notifications be big business?

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Date: Tue Sep 26 2000 - 02:55:42 PDT

i don't think miserlyness is a significant factor in sms take up. anyone who
was willing to type out text messages using a telephone keypad (before
phones had autocomplete - mine still doesn't) to save a few pence must have
been a real professional cheapskate.

i bang out one or two sms messages a day but not as call substitutes and my
friends use it the same way. i've not seen any cheapskate type sms

an sms message is more like an email than a phone call, and i think it has
taken off because it offers something different, just the way email has.

motivators include:
- you can send -any kind- of message from -anywhere- at -any time- (no
matter how private/personal, in the street, busy office, boring meeting, a
club at 4am)
- they are nice to receive - better than email - no junk sms for me yet
(this is coming though!)
- they intrude minimally on the recipient

in fact, for me the cost of sending them is a de-motivator. at 20p a message
they can easily mount up over a month, and since i don't perceive them as
saving on my calls bill i think before i send.

apart from personal messaging, here are some other ways i use sms:

- alerts: for example: i have set up stock price triggers that send me an
sms message whenever a stock moves through a threshold. i can set up as many
alerts as i like on as many stocks as i like. this doesn't cost me a penny.
(there are lots of other examples of this kind of use - some in the original

- bargain hunting: i have registered with who have my
credit card and shipping details on file. if i'm in a shop and want a better
price, or if i just want them to do the legwork i type a product description
as an sms message and a few minutes i get an sms message with price and
delivery, sometimes more than one. to buy the item i just reply to the
message with my pin. they do the hard work of comparing prices between
vendors for me and so far have always matched or beaten the best price i
could find.

- email to phone: i go to a web site and register an email address that
forwards the email to my phone as an sms message. actually i don't use this
(except for sites that alert via email only), but maybe someone finds it
useful. this is entirely free.

mewonders if some people find it hard not to be first all the time ;-) the
US lags Europe in the mobile industry at this time and i guess that hurts.
europeans are used to being behind so it really doesn't bother us. or maybe
some people just hang around with cheapskates ;-P

i think you make a fair point that the different charging structures may
affect take-up, but i think the key point is that sms messages offer
something unique that people like, and so unless something else fills the
need it is very likely to take off in the US.

i never thought it would take off here.


XNS Address:  =Mark Hughes 

> -----Original Message----- > From: Ian Andrew Bell [] > Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2000 5:45 AM > To: Rohit Khare; > Subject: Re: Could SMS Notifications be big business? > > > 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. > > -Ian. >

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