Archive for the ‘ business sms ’ Category

Buy your wine by SMS

After encountering a great wine in a restaurant or at a friend’s house, instead of vowing to remember the name and vintage, Dutch consumers can now dash off an sms to BuyYourWine.com. The online wine seller will then get back to them with a price and delivery details.

In the US, WineZap offers a similar service. If someone emails or texts them the vintage and wine name, WineZap will email or text them the current low, high and average prices for that wine. If a user adds their zipcode, WineZap includes a list of the nearest retailers that stock the wine, as well as their prices.

Both companies are currently offering the service at no charge. Another example of catering to people’s insatiable desire for relevant information, when and where they want it. Wine-by-text is a great little add-on both for merchants like BuyYourWine, and for intermediaries like WineZap, and it could of course be expanded with such obvious options as letting customers send in cameraphone pictures of wine labels or barcodes. For more examples of how tuned-in companies are satisfying consumer infolust, check out trendwatching.com’s briefing on the subject.

Source: Springwise

Buy your wine

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Belgium lagging behind in GSM penetration

 According to the most recent report of the European Commission on the ICT market, the penetration rate in Belgium amounted to 94% in 2007. This was far behind the leading countries Italy (148%), Lithuania (144%) and Letvia (140%).

In 21 countries the mobile penetration rate was higher than 100% in October 2007 according to this study. With a penetration rate of 83% France showed the lowest level of all countries.

Mobile Penetration Rate Europe

Mobile Penetration Rate in Europe (October 2007) 

The study also revealed that mobile communications represent the highest part (47%) of the telecoms industry in Europe and is still growing. The number of European subscribers has risen to 553 millions. The top 5 countries in terms of number of subscribers are Germany (93 mio), Italy (88 mio), United Kingdom (72 mio), France (52 mio) and Spain (49 mio). They represent 64% of all European subscribers.

Find more info on this interesting study in a special report on Journal du Net.

10 million MMS on Mobistar network

Belgian mobile operator Mobistar has announced that their clients have sent 10 million mobile images in 2007.
Their multimedia messaging service (MMS) was launched 5 years ago, but the price to send a MMS message has dropped significantly since: from 0,99 EUR to 0,25 EUR.

About 60% of all mobile users have a mobile phone that is compatibel to send and receive MMS.

girls-taking-mobile-photo1.jpg

Call for cheaper SMS roaming

Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, continues attacking the high roaming tariffs. In 2007, she imposed a decrease in roaming fees for international phone calls. Now she also wants to see prices diminishing for international SMS messages and data transfer. Right now, these prices still vary widely because mobile operators charge each other differently to allow the use of their network. These costs are then charged to the end-user. Reding, talking at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona, urges operators to lower these networks charges. She also stimulated the use of fixed fees for data transfer so the Mobile Internet could get the same boost as the fixed Internet did when flat fees (cable, ADSL) were introduced there.

It didn’t take the operators long to come with a reply. Rob Conway, president of GSM Association, which groups more than 700 operators, said he agreed that the Mobile Internet should be stimulated with a more attractive tariff structure, but opposed regulation of mobile data services, saying it would limit innovation: “We don’t believe retail price regulation is beneficial in this context at all. We would resist through reasoned argument”.

Viviane Reding

CBS Mobile uses LBS for Mobile Advertising

US-based CBS Mobile has teamed up with Loopt, provider of social-mapping and communication services. Objective is to combine Mobile Advertising with Location Based Services (LBS), which allows for consumers to receive mobile ads tailored to their current physical location, for example promoting stores and restaurants in the neighborhood.

More at New York Times.

15 years of SMS: a remarkable growth story

On December 3rd, 1992 a young engineer at Airwide Solutions named Neil Papworth sent the first commercial text message to Vodafone manager Richard Jarvis. Both sender and receiver were present on a recent anniversary party of that first SMS in London. At the time, they couldn’t have imagined the gigantic impact SMS would have on daily life 15 years later.

The phenomenal growth of SMS doesn’t seem to stop: in 2007 an estimated 5 billion SMS messages were sent in Belgium, which is a bit more than 500 messages per person. On New Year’s Eve 2008, 59 billion SMS were sent in Belgium alone; an increase of 25% compared to the year before. UK residents send out more text messages a day than there are worldwide searches on Google that same day.

Let’s be honest: nobody could have predicted or explained the success of SMS beforehand. Each marketer, analyst or product developer in 1992 saw mostly the limitations and barriers of this new service. First of all it’s pretty difficult to type text messages with only 12 buttons. Moreover, the messages are extremely short: which message could one possibly communicate within 160 characters? And finally, sending a SMS is not exactly cheap: counting cost per sent bit, SMS is the most expensive way of communicating in the world. When I received my first SMS on New Year’s Eve 1999, I couldn’t imagine the present commercial success of SMS either.

a remarkable growth story

Yet SMS became a success story in the short term. Which factors explain this success?

  1. Each mobile phone allows SMS: SMS is by default present on each GSM, and there is no need for a separate activation or special configuration.
  2. Accessibility ‘any time, any where’: many people prefer not to be disturbed op their phone; SMS is a practical way to nonetheless contact them fast, no matter where they are.
  3. No technical complexity: although entering a SMS message is not that simple, the sending of it is really easy. SMS works independently of the operator or the device of the recipient.
  4. Limited cost: Sending a SMS is cheaper than making a phone call or sending a letter.

What does the future of SMS look like? This question was recently asked at the Web Goes Mobile Seminar to keynote speaker Tom Weiss, ex-Vice President of T-Mobile. His reply was clear: at least 20 years. Every recent research shows that SMS still continues to grow. Recently, we also see more and more companies using SMS as communication tool. In the sector of recruiting for example, the Flemish VDAB has started early 2008 to inform young job hunters by SMS about new relevant job offers.

Language teachers probably won’t like the sound of it, but SMS is here to stay. And those selling SMS dictionaries will continue to live happy days.