Archives for March 2003

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March 31, 2003

Iraq text alert service draws 11,000 users

A new text alert service from UK satellite TV channel Sky News keeping consumers up to date with the latest Iraq coverage has attracted 11,000 subscribers in the first week of the war. The alert service launched on March 19, the first day of the attacks, and is promoted via an on-screen scrolling message, as read on SMS: Business Gets the Message.

emily | 9:38 AM | permalink | comment (0)

War prompts SMS Boom

"Phone messaging and email traffic has surged over the past week as people use the latest technology to vent their outrage or voice support for the military invasion of Iraq.

The BBC World Service has been inundated with thousands of text messages from mobile phone users across the globe wanting to express their views about the war".

"Suddenly text messaging appears to have moved on from personal communication to personal statement," said Nigel Chapman, the deputy director of the BBC World Service, in an interview with The Guardian

emily | 9:33 AM | permalink | comment (0)

US TV viewers vote by SMS for the next Nashville Star

TV viewers will be able to vote for the next country music sensation on USA Networks show "Nashville Star". Each week, America will cast their vote by SMS to see who gets removed from the competition, and who becomes the next Nashville Star.

The interactive TV features are made possible thanks to wireless technology company Mobliss, who in 2002 teamed up with FOX-TV to launch the first major campaign with the smash hit "American Idol", and they later partnered with AT&T Wireless to provide cell phone users with the "AT&T Wireless Super Bowl Trivia Challenge".

But this is the first time, seven major wireless carriers have agreed to utilize a common short code across all of their networks, according to

What are short codes? Essentially a direct response medium, they allow people send SMS messages simply by dialing a four, five, or six-digit number, rather than the 10-digit numbers used in person-to-person text-messaging.

They are easier to remember and easier to type than their longer counterparts. To put it simply, letting users send a short, easy code in response to a promotion makes it more likely that they will engage with the campaign. For more on short codes, cf Instant Messaging Planet.

emily | 9:30 AM | permalink | comment (0)

SMS promote French film «Wanted»

SMS alerts, quizzes and games will be tied-in with the launch of French film "Wanted", due for release in movie theaters April 16, starring movie and song legends Gérard Depardieu, Renaud and Johnny Hallyday. Leading wireless technology company Phonevalley developped the SMS promotions for BAC Films

emily | 9:26 AM | permalink | comment (0)

SMS promote French film «Wanted»

SMS alerts, quizzes and games will be tied-in with the launch of French film "Wanted", due for release in movie theaters April 16, starring movie and song legends Gérard Depardieu, Renaud and Johnny Hallyday. Leading wireless technology company Phonevalley developped the SMS promotions for BAC Films

emily | 9:26 AM | permalink | comment (0)

Job prospects by SMS

The Federal Government of Australia is launching a new SMS alert service for the unemployed. Resumes will be checked against available jobs and job seekers will be notified of any matches the next day by SMS, according to The Herald Sun

emily | 9:06 AM | permalink | comment (0)

March 28, 2003

SMS spread in Asia on pneumonia outbreak

According to an article in C/Net Asia, Asians are spreading SMS messages related to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which manifest's as a pneumonia-like illness. Most of them are hoaxes, such as: "To curb the spread of SARS, all offices will be closed from Friday April 28 until further notice.--Minister of Health".

But more seriously, financial institutions in Singapore are accusing their competitors of sending out SARS rumours to hurt their business. "According to the Association of Banks, there were SMS and email messages alleging there were SARS-infected staff not only at DBS and POSB, but also at Bank of America, HSBC, and UOB", reports Channel News Asia

Citizens are also protesting the public health policy by SMS, involving the shutting down of pre-schools to junior colleges and are sending SMS messages offering traditional Asian remedies for the deadly virus.

emily | 6:25 PM | permalink | comment (0)

Debating the war by SMS in the USA

The Detroit Free Press reports that the debate on the war is raging not only on the Web, but in SMS chat groups on Verizon Wireless.

emily | 6:15 PM | permalink | comment (0)

MMS interoperable with other networks in the UK

Good news! According to an article ZDNet UK, mobile operator Orange has signed an "interconnect" agreement with T-Mobile, Vodafone and mmO2, enabling users with multimedia MMS compatible phones, to send and receive picture messages to other users signed up with those networks, effective March 31st.

emily | 5:10 PM | permalink | comment (0)

March 27, 2003

Voting by SMS for top DJ, raises money for charity

Another innovative campaign to raise money by SMS. The World Vision competition in support of the annual 40 Hour Famine in New Zealand, is getting radio DJs to appeal to their fans to vote for the top DJ using a premium rate SMS code. Each message makes a NZ$3 ($1.65) donation to the appeal. World Vision New Zealand is a Christian relief and development agency assisting 70 million people annually in 92 different countries. Picked up from SMS insightful, For more on fund raising campaign ideas by SMS, check out the «SMS and Charities» category on this weblog.

emily | 2:33 PM | permalink | comment (0)

SMS may put Philippine Post Office out of business

According to an article in abs-cbnnews, reported on SMS: Business Gets the message, text messaging has replaced mail correspondence as the chief mode of communication in the Philippines and may put the Philippine Postal Corp. out of business. Quezon City Postmaster Cipriano Pagaduan said the company used to handle 160,000 letters a day, but the advent of text messaging has reduced the number by at least 25 percent.

emily | 1:53 PM | permalink | comment (1)

March 26, 2003

Nintendo Official Magazine sends out SMS of latest news and developments

Nintendo Official Magazine (NOM), the popular games console magazine from EMAP, is to launch its first range of SMS services to its readers. According to an article in, it's readers will be able to subscribe to «Club NOM» and opt-in to receive free SMS updates containing news from current stories in the magazine, the latest Nintendo games releases and access to exclusive competitions.

A great tie-in by a magazine to promote it's content. The service will also enable the magazine's young readers (16-24 year olds) to customise their mobile phones with Nintendo ringtones and graphics.

emily | 4:22 PM | permalink | comment (0)

Under air raid sirens in Kuwait, texting brings comfort

The wail of air raid sirens bring terror to Baghdad but also to Kuwait City, according to an insightful eye witness account by a British hairdresser in Kuwait, who has been e-mailing the The Evening Post. As missiles fly over (Salwa) south of Kuwait City, the noise is terrifying and getting in touch with relatives by international calls is nearly impossible. "The phone networks are overloaded with SMS texting which is turning out to be the only form of communication between friends". Said Kathy McGregor, whose family home is in West Bridgford.

emily | 10:27 AM | permalink | comment (0)

Don't forget to watch the "Sopranos"

British Internet provider BTopenworld in partership with TV guide, is offering subscribers a premium SMS reminder service for time schedules of favorite television programs. So as not to miss a favorite soap or talk-show, text alerts are delivered via SMS to mobile phones 15 minutes, one hour, two hours or six hours before the programme starts. As reported in Revolution Magazine.

emily | 10:11 AM | permalink | comment (0)

March 25, 2003

SMS messages urge consumers to boycott US products

Stories are starting to emerge from around the world, on SMS campaigns encouraging consumers to boycott US products, singling out Kentucky Fried Chicken and MacDonalds.

Finns have been receing SMS messages in recent days calling for a consumer boycott aimed at the United States as a protest against the war in Irak. They seem to be issued by individuals or peace groups and other citizens' organisations (cf Helsingin Sanomat).

The African Christian Democratic Party on Monday came out publicly to condemn a texting campaign calling for South Africans to boycott American products in protest against the war in Iraq. "This country needs direct foreign investment, and this irresponsible protest would be destructive, harming South Africans more than anyone else", ACDP MP Zwelethu Madasa said in a statement, reported in

In Qatar, where US General Tommy Franks directs the war in Iraq, locals have used SMS to unleash anti-American protests and a boycott of American and British products, according to the Taipei Times.

emily | 9:38 AM | permalink | comment (0)

Saudis debate the war by SMS

Since the war broke out in Iraq, dozens of e-mails and mobile text messages have been circulating between friends in Saudi Arabia. Some of the messages urged an anti-American campaign or encouraged recipients to remember their brothers in Iraq. Some messages also encouraged Muslims to recite certain verses of the Holy Qur'an to seek victory. Many are humorous, including harsh jokes about the Bush administration, preparations for another war in the Gulf or the silence of Arabs toward such tragedies, according to an article in Arab News.

emily | 9:36 AM | permalink | comment (0)

Marketing firms targeting youths by SMS must seek parental consent

SMS marketers should seek parental consent before targeting minors with their campaigns, according to a new set of industry guidelines.

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has created its guidelines for the mobile marketing industry -- worth around £18bn a year --, to complement the British Codes of Advertising, Sales Promotion & Direct Marketing (CAP) and the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) Codes of Practice. According to an article in Revolution Magazine

emily | 9:35 AM | permalink | comment (0)

Health test results by SMS

A doctor at South Manchester University Hospital in the UK is using text messaging to communicate with patients and cut down waiting times for medical results.

"Instead of waiting weeks, patients need only send a text message to Dr Badal Pal three or four days after their tests in order to get results within hours. He does not have the patient's phone number himself but gives them his own after seeing them in his clinic.

Using their name and date of birth to identify themselves, patients can get in touch for test results and will also be sent reminders if they need regular check-ups or for their next appointment". As reported in the BBC.

emily | 9:33 AM | permalink | comment (3)

Keyboards for Enhanced Texting

Two articles picked up online today, on keyboards which allow for enhanced texting. The first, from Cellular News, describes ATELAB research group's new cellular phone with enhanced text editing capabilities, to facilitate entering text messages and using e-mail and calender features. The innovation is an additional alphanumerical keypad that slides out from the phone. The user holds the phone in one hand and enters text with his other hand on the additional alphanumerical keypad.

The second article comes from Paul Golding's Weblog on Wireless, describing Fastap's intuitive keyoard design that enables text messages to be composed significantly faster than on existing devices with standard triple-tap keyboards.

emily | 9:33 AM | permalink | comment (0)

March 24, 2003

SMS, a new weapon used by the police

Chinese officials are hoping to drive crooks crazy, and make them give up crime, with a relentless barrage of messages sent to their cellphones, according to an article in Nando News.

The campaign targets people who paste postcard-sized ads in public places leaving their mobile numbers and offering fake ID cards or academic certificates. Law enforcers have recorded the numbers and sent out the following message at intervals of 20 seconds: "You have broken the law by posting illegal ads. You must immediately stop this activity and go to the Hangzhou Urban Administrative Bureau for punishment."

A similar battled was waged in the Netherlands in 2001, when the Amsterdam police sent out SMS messages every three minutes to stolen cell phone numbers, saying: "This cell phone has been stolen. To buy it or sell it is a crime. The Police."

emily | 10:44 AM | permalink | comment (0)

Guardian Angel monitors childrens' whereabouts by SMS

A new system allows parents to keep a closer eye on the movements of their children via their mobile phones, according to an article in the BBC. It will send text alerts to their mobile phone if the child deviates too far from that route or takes too long getting there.

Made by French mobile firm Alcatel, the system takes advantage of the existing mobile phone network to locate a child's whereabouts rather than using global positioning systems like some location-based services.

emily | 10:35 AM | permalink | comment (0)

A Braille Keyboard for Texting

The first integrated cellular phone and personal organizer was on display in Los Angeles recently, incorporating features for the blind and visually impaired. With 20 braille cells, an 8-dot Braille keyboard, users will be able to send out text messages.

Other key features of the ALVA MPO Mobile Phone Organizer: a fully accessible tri-band GSM cellular phone, an essential notetaker, an agenda planner, an alarm and a calculator. Should be available June 2003.

emily | 10:00 AM | permalink | comment (0)

«FotoChat» launched on Spanish TV

Taking SMS teletexting to a new level, a popular feature in Europe, where users, generally coach potato teenagers, send their SMS message to a TV channel and wait around until it finally scrolls by on their screens (sometimes hours later), the popular VitaminaN show on Spanish Citytv, is now offering users the opportunity to send in their pictures with their text messages. Users can participate in the «FotoChat» service by registering at and uploading their picture. Each time they send an SMS on the chat, their photo will appear automatically next to their own message on the TV screen.

This campaign has been developped by Random One (R1), a mobile and cross-media marketing pioneer in Spain. They were first to deliver true, live interactive programming on television via SMS.

emily | 9:39 AM | permalink | comment (0)

March 23, 2003

Dialtone Concerts

Precious information picked up on Smart Mobs, linking an Informal Catalogue of cell phone concerts performed around the world.

A collection gathered by American composer Golan Levin who composed the first original ««Dialtones Symphony»» where the 200 instruments played were the audience's ringing cell phones. The concert took place on September 2nd, 2001, at the Brucknerhaus Auditorium in Linz, Austria during the Ars Electronica's annual festival. Golan Levin performed again in the summer of 2002, at the Arteplage Mobile de Jura as a production of the Swiss National Exposition and Swisscom Mobile.

Of note in Golan's catalogue,Japanese Whispers where "About 10-20 cellphones are laid nose-to-toe in a circle. Ambient sound and the voices of the participants are input into the cellphone mouthpieces. Sound is propagated through the phones, becoming delayed and distorted in the resulting feedback loop.

emily | 2:26 PM | permalink | comment (0)

Grumble Text

What on earth is all this about then?

It's about enabling mobile Brits to send text messages when they feel like grumbling about UK companies who have let them down with poor customer service, flaky pledges, intrusive marketing, aggressive selling, general thoughtlessness and carelessness... A "don't get mad, get even" texting service discovered on SMS treasure chest

emily | 10:39 AM | permalink | comment (0)

March 22, 2003

Help desk offers emergency SMS

In trying to access earlier this afternoon, there was no connection, so I checked out my hosting company's help page, —, located in Sarasota Florida —, where I was able to choose amongst several options to contact their technical team; e-mail, phone, fax, ICQ and... emergency SMS. Clicking on the latter brought up a small window where I was asked to fill out my e-mail adress, subject, and describe the nature of the problem, where as I typed away, the number of characters left to complete my message (to reach the limit of 160), displayed near the bottom of the screen. 10 minutes later I was back in business. Now that's a great service.

emily | 4:12 PM | permalink | comment (0)

Health Alerts by SMS

For various text alerts which are related to health, check out the Health Issues and SMS Alerts category in

emily | 12:01 AM | permalink | comment (0)

March 21, 2003

«Lifestyle» text messages

Insecure and troubled Brits know where to go for a confidence boost... by SMS. Mobile company inspireyourlife offers a variety of "lifestyle text messages", delivering encouragement, advice and support, catering to various aspects of every day life. Categories range from secrets to success, love and relationships, getting out of debt, helping smokers quit, to diet tips and life coaching.

emily | 12:57 AM | permalink | comment (0)

Mastercard offers consultancy services for SMS

Displaying an act of faith in the business potential and secure services conducted by SMS, according to an article in newmediazero, credit card giant MasterCard is rolling out a "MasterCard SMS" programme across Europe, aimed at banks, retailers and companies developing co-branded cards. The company is promising to help evaluate and implement complete SMS campaigns with it's partners.

The card company has also issued a code of practice for banks wanting to use SMS, in what it claims is the first such code for the finance sector. And includes as well fraud prevention measures in the system, allowing banks for instance, to send SMS alerts to cardholders for large or suspicious transactions.

emily | 12:45 AM | permalink | comment (0)

Track your luggage by SMS

Five thousand regular Scandinavian Airlines customers are being invited to test a new information service: receiving an SMS text message on arrival if baggage has been delayed for some reason. The SMS also states when the baggage is expected to arrive. As reported in SMS: Business Gets the Message and Eye For Travel.

A similar type of service was launched a while ago by UPS, enabling customers to access information on the status of their shipments, while on the go.

emily | 12:29 AM | permalink | comment (0)

Displaying entries of 72
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