Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Text Messaging SMS Commerce

From Chicago Tribune Cell phone text-messaging expanding its U.S. footprint

In the U.S., we use our cell phones mostly to make calls.
But to many people in much of the rest of the world, wireless phones as text-messaging tools are more important. In fact, cell phone "texting," as Derek Tam of Mobile365 calls it, is often the primary cell phone application in parts of Europe and Asia

"We do the interoperability between networks, so if you're on the Verizon network and are sending a text message to a T-Mobile customer, you'll be using Mobile365," Tam said. "It's like FedEx. You give us a text message and tell us where to deliver it to, and we get there."

The company handles between 1.5 billion and 2 billion text messages each month, accounting for 60 to 75 percent of all "texts" sent between networks

It won't be long, for example, until you're able to walk up to a vending machine and buy a can of pop with a cell phone text message.

"The vending machine has a wireless unit that clearly displays a phone number," Tam said. "Call the number with your cell phone, you'll be charged 50 cents, and out pops a can of Coke."

The cost will appear on your next phone bill.

"It's using text as a means of transferring cash," explained Tam. Mobile365 has a data center in Chicago handling these cash transactions for a variety of wireless carriers.

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