Thursday, May 01, 2008

Innovative System Enables Hearing-Impaired to Call for Emergency Services editor Michael Dinan reports on Wireless Text-Messaging Service Revolutionizes Emergency Response for the Impaired a very interesting new emergency service: Hearing impaired people in County Kent (England) can send a text message to a short code asking for assistance.
This is a tremendous asset -- many hearing-impaired use texting as a communications device outside the home. Even though this is not available (yet!) in the U.S., it merited featuring here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

UMass Implements Emergency Alert System

The University of Massachusetts has implemented a campus-wide emergency text-messaging system, see this very informative article by Derrick Perkins in The Daily Collegian for rates of success and report of a well thought out and measured implementation.

Monday, April 14, 2008

CTIA Wireless Keynote Points to Ongoing Messaging Growth

ComputerWorld reports from CTIA Wireless Expo in Las Vegas this week on CTIA president Steve Largent's keynote. He told attendees at the association's annual conference that the December 2007 total for text messages was an increase of about 157% increase over the previous year. "Text messaging continues to be enormously popular," Largent said.

The survey showed that in addition to text messages, nearly 4 billion pictures and multimedia messages were sent wirelessly for the last six months of 2007, which compares to 2.7 billion sent for all of 2006.

Wireless data services represent a major growth area since they still only account for about 17% of all wireless service revenues, with the remainder going to voice, CTIA's survey said. In all, wireless service providers had about $71 billion in revenues for the final six months of 2007. Wireless data revenues for 2007 were $23 billion, a 53% increase over 2006.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

CTIA Web Site Provides Short Code 101

Common short codes (CSCs) are administered by a single CSC Administrator (CSCA) - CTIA-The Wireless Association® - for a group of U.S. wireless carriers. The CSCA oversees the technical and operational aspects of CSC functions and maintains a single database of available, reserved, and registered CSCs.

Common Short Codes represent a fast-growing channel offering direct communication with consumers, anytime and anywhere through a common medium. Common Short Codes are four to six digit numeric codes to which text messages can be sent from a mobile phone to access or buy mobile content (e.g. weather alerts, news, games, ring tones, etc.), vote for your favorite TV personality, participate in a poll, and more. Common Short Codes can be leased by any company looking to interact with hundreds of millions of wireless consumers.

In order to lease a CSC, an individual or company must first set up an account on the CSCA website. Once this is done, an application for the lease of a CSC may be completed. The application will then be either approved or disapproved, and the applicant will be notified by email.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Verizon Confirms Opt-In Messaging Exponential Growth Trajectory

Seven years after the launch of basic text messaging, Verizon Wireless customers sent and received more than 10 billion messages in June 2007. Eight short months later, the number of text messages on the Verizon Wireless network last month, February 2008, doubled to nearly 20 billion.

As texting grows into a more mainstream communications channel, opportunities grow for new and innovative messaging programs often involving short codes, that allow citizens to participate in activities of their choice.

Contests, promotions and other "opt-in" campaigns have been launched in the past few years that give marketers and advocates other ways to reach consumers with unique offers or information. Since 2005, wireless service providers have offered Wireless AMBER Alerts, allowing consumers to "opt-in" to receive a text message when an AMBER Alert about a missing or abducted child is issued in their area.

"The volume of text messages being sent and received by Verizon Wireless customers is growing exponentially," said Mike Lanman, chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless. "Whether it's sports scores, news updates, the latest weather forecast, or the 'joke of the day', text messages are a tremendous way for anyone to stay on top of what's happening in the world. "Not to mention all of the parents -- and grandparents -- keeping up with their kids, or kids texting each other throughout the day, text messaging is becoming an increasingly important way to communicate for people of all ages," Lanman added.

Using text messaging to fundraise for charity is another of those opportunities. Verizon Wireless believes it's time to create a set of best practices around mobile giving, so Americans who contribute are protected and there is a solid framework in place for these campaigns.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Emergency text message system used for first time

A recent news article in a college newspaper points to an increasing trend of using SMS to send out text alerts to campuses or organizations:
Weather causes floods, outages
Emergency text message system used for first time
(Southern Illinois University, Carbondale: The Daily Egyptian 3/19/08)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Opinion: Wireless Carriers and Innovation

This article by Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal is a must read on the eve of the CTIA conference in San Francisco. Keep his thoughts in mind when listening to the various keynote presentations.