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SMS Adoption Sky Rockets in USA - Texting is Finally In

 8:26 pm on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)


After years of lagging behind Europe and Japan in the adoption of mobile text messaging, US subscribers have finally caught the SMS (short messaging service) bug.

A total of 48.7bn SMS messages were sent in the last six months of 2005, up 50 per cent from 32.5bn in the first six months of last year, according to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA).



 8:48 pm on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wonder if this counts the Crack Berry users? I get the shakes when I don't have it with me.


 9:40 pm on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

If texting in the US costs anything like that in Europe, US phone companies are now raking in some 20 million dollars per day from users of the service...


 9:43 pm on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Crackberrys don't use SMS.

Neither do Java email applets runing on (typically) GSM phones, BREW email applets running on (typically) CDMA phones, or email clients running on PDA-phones typically running on the Windows Mobile or PalmOS platforms, which access POP accounts over IP.

SMS stands for "Short Message Service". It's a very specific technology for sending short (160-character, maximum) messages to and from mobile phones.



 11:25 pm on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use SMS on my CrackBerry all the time. It is a phone too, you know. A nice feature is that it threads the SMS together, so the conversation stays intact. Also, it appears on the same screen as the emails, but with a slightly different look to the little icon.

When you open an email from someone in your BB's address book, you have the option of responding by email, SMS or calling them. Very handy.


 11:59 pm on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I stand corrected. It counts the SMS messages sent to/from Crackberrys. But not the regular emails, which is the primary mode of use for them. (And the reason for their existence.)


 3:23 am on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

yes, Blackberry's use email as the primary mode of text communication, as does the Treo and other smart phones. The bulk of the phones in the U.S. rely on SMS messaging. For example, the Motorola RAZR is the number 1 selling phone in the US with more than 2.5 million units sold. It's used SMS protocals for text communications.. Blackberry's have gained momentum, but don't even come close to Moto's market penetration in the US


 8:49 am on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

It took off immediately in Europe because right from the start you could send messages between different phone network operators. You could even send messages to phones in different countries anywhere in Europe.

Unfortunately at the time some of the American network operators seemed to want to keep their systems closed, which meant they all suffered because no one used the SMS service. Email would have similarly flopped if you had only been able to send mails to people on the same ISP as you.

The price of an SMS is a rip-off, you can do the same thing far more cheaply by installing an IM client on your phone and encouraging friends to do the same.

But the convenience of SMS messages is remarkable: it works on any phone (even ones from the 1990s) and allows you to contact someone instantly anywhere without them having to perform any kind of action. It's also an excellent payment method, because by using premium rate SMSes, you can allow people to pay for things with their phone.

Some countries have coke machines for example where you just send an SMS to the number on the machine and a coke bottle pops out instantly. Others use it for home shopping, you SMS your address and the cost of the product is charged to your phone bill.


 9:16 am on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

SMS was never all that popular in Japan. It's a depreciated option on most phones now. All Japanese carriers use e-mail and have done so since the i-mode service debuted from DoCoMo in 1999. I can't even find the SMS option on my new phone...but I'm sure it's in there somewhere. ;)

SMS is a step backward.


 10:24 pm on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

SMS is like fax. Out of date but still useful.

Email and IM messages are only any good when the other person is logged in.

Personally I find the use of "delivery report" very useful. You get the receipt when they switch on their phone so there is no need to get upset about not getting a reply when their phone is out of range.


 10:45 pm on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> It took off immediately in Europe because right from the start you could send messages between different phone network operators. <<

UK and European GSM phones didn't have any text facility at all on them for the first 3 or 4 years.

For the first year of text service, here in the UK, you could only send stuff to the same network.

Full European coverage was another 2 years in the making... but ubiquitous for the last 7 or 8 years now.

It was GSM digital phones that made it happen. The last of the Analogue service was withdrawn back in 1999 I think.

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