Archives for May 2003
May 31, 2003
An online open project is tallying every day the mobilization efforts against the G8 meeting in Evian (May 29 - June 1st) and offers demonstrators the opportunity to send in short articles and pictures of demonstrations or direct actions with their cell phones or PDA.s. Read full article in Picturephoning.com.
For previous incidents of SMS firing by SMS, cf Sacked by SMS.
May 30, 2003
In a bid to compete with Vodafone and its rival Vodafone Live service, mmO2 will debut O2 Active in the UK, Germany and Ireland next month, according to electricnews.net.
IDC research forcasts US Short Messaging Service (SMS) to grow to 75 million subscribers in 2007 (and Instant Messaging (IM) to 63 million subscribers).
By the end of 2007, IDC expects annual subscriber revenue from SMS and IM to grow to approximately $1.9 billion for each service, per an article in SiliconAlley.biz. Ink via Fierce Wireless newsletter.
The two IDC studies, U.S. SMS Forecast, 2003-2007: DO U C WUT I C? (IDC #29062), and U.S. Wireless IM Forecast, 2003-2007: My Buddies and Me (IDC #29195) present five-year forecasts for the SMS and IM markets including subscribers, average number of messages per user, annual message traffic, and annual subscriber revenue. To purchase these documents, call IDC's sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email email@example.com.
May 29, 2003
Subscribers to bible text service dubbed «Wisdom to Live By» or «WL2B» will receive biblical inspiration by SMS, from verses taken from the bible's Book of Proverbs. A baptist Church of Cardiff, Wales, partnered with wireless technology company ThinkSMS.co.uk, to offer a permium sms service. 4 out of the 25p cost of each SMS will be donated to various Christian charities.
For more on Religion and SMS, check out this category in textually.org.
May 28, 2003
In a vote promoting effort, Sverige i Europa (Sweden in Europe), has become Sweden's first operator-independent MMS-service offering users a free-of charge service for the sending of MMS animations (such as Dala horses) and screen savers, to encourage people to vote Yes‚ in the upcoming referendum on Sweden's entry into the European Monetary Union, according to Europemedia.
To the best of my knowledge, this is a first. A mobile operator (rightly) granting permission for an appeal by SMS for donors of a rare "A negative" bloood type over it's network, "unleashing the power of the humble SMS".
As reported by The Times of India, cellular services provider Airtel sent out the text alert to a random few thousand subscribers within 30 minutes. It was enough to flood Harinder Choudhary with calls. Within a couple of hours, he had dozens of callers willing to come over for the donation to save his father hospitalized at Apollo Hospital Delhi.
MobIslam.Com is a new mobile portal dedicated to the French-speaking Muslim community, offering arabic logos, islamic ringtones, interactive services as well as SMS alerts of either prayers or verses of the Koran.
In their own words: "MobIslam.Com is the partner of your sprititual Djihad".
A new text alert service dubbed «SARS Contact Tracing SMS», was launched yesterday by StarHub and the Singapore Tourism Board, "as a quick and easy way to trace people in case - touch wood - of another Sars outbreak in Singapore", according to the Straits Times.
By keying in the six-digit postal code of hotels, restaurants and shopping malls (which they display on posters on their premises) and sending it to a designed number, the mobile user's whereabouts will be logged automatically onto the StarHub website.
The data is to be released to the Ministry of Health - and other relevant government bodies - only if they ask for it. Otherwise, data stored is deleted after 14 days.
In Kenya, warnings of a possible terrorist attacks are being sent by SMS, according to The East African Standard. Commissioner of Police E J Nyaseda, in a statement to the Press, said that though the authenticity of the messages has not been confirmed, they are taking all the necessary security precautions.
Local Swiss Romande TV channel Léman Bleu, is offering Text Alerts on the G8 Summit. To subscribe, mobile users need only to send an SMS with "G8" to short code 911, to receive up to 10 messages a day at a premium rate of Sfr 0,50 (US$ 38.-) per SMS.
To unsubscribe, mobile users must send an SMS with "STOP G8" to same short code number 911.
Local daily Geneva newspaper La Tribune de Genève offers a similar SMS Text Alert service with breaking news from their reporters. Subscribers will receive up to 10 text messages a day from May 20 to June 3rd for Sfr 0,50 (US$ 38.-) per SMS. To subscribe mobile users should send TDG G8 START to short code 141. To unusubscribe, they should send TDG G8 STOP to the same number.
May 27, 2003
The city of Geneva Switzerland is bracing itself for the G8 Summit next week in nearby French lake-side resort Evian. Stores in the center of town and including the famous "rue du Rhône" are being boarded up and shut closed in fear of un-peaceful demonstrators wreaking havoc.
The city of Geneva is expecting up to 300'000 demonstrators (for a city of 300'000 inhabitants). Rumors are flying, such as the cell phone network being cut off if demonstrators get out of hand, to disrupt their re-grouping and organizing on the fly. According to Christian Neuhaus, a popular spokesperson for Swisscom operator, "Swisscom has no intention of disabling their network. If they did, it would only by police order, but we have heard of no such thing".
It's not so far-fetched, as local cellphone networks in Mumbai, the financial center of India, were asked in March of 2002 to disable their SMS service during the day, to help reduce social unrest and avoid the organization of illegal demonstrations, according to Cellular News.
Following the outbreak of the SRS virus and with people avoiding public places, the De Rimba department store in Brunei has launched a new service allowing shoppers to send an SMS to order goods and have them delivered, according to an article in BruneiDirect.com via SMS: Business Gets the Message.
May 26, 2003
BlueTags, a Bluetooth tracking technology specialist is launching a new service -- a world first -- that will help parents keep track of their children while visiting the Aalborg Zoo in Denmark. Several other zoos and amusement parks have expressed their interest in the tracking product, acccording to m-Travel
How does it work?
"Bluetooth/WLAN access points are installed throughout the zoo. At the entrance, parents rent BlueTags' BodyTag for their children and register the required information along with contact details. They receive an SMS to their mobile phone with a code to be used when making inquiries about the location of the individual child. The parent simply sends an SMS with the specific SMS code and, through the tracking software and the SMS gateway, a response comes back with information about the child's location." -- m-Travel
Nearly 2.5 million AT&T Wireless customers cast their votes by SMS for their favorite American Idol contestant, reports Wired, almost eclipsing the total votes cast by SMS over the last several months.
"To put this in perspective, the first text-voting episode in February registered approximately 50,000 text votes," AT&T spokesman Ritch Blasi said. "The numbers have been growing every week into the hundreds of thousands over the last couple of weeks."
The HIT reports on i-mode's slow penetration of the European market, "with only 455,000 of the 35 million mobile data users having adopted it Japan's hottest name in mobile telecommunications".
In Ringtonia, today, flatulence ringtones are a big hit (!) and estimated ringtone market.
May 24, 2003
The Guardian publishes a positive review of Jon Agar's short book «Constant Touch: A Brief History of the Mobile Phone», available on Amazon.co.uk. It tells the historical story of the mobile phone, what happened and why and how the device that keeps us in constant touch has shifted how we live, work and play.
"Agar argues that the mobile phone "gives society back a cohesion", but social cohesion, if it ever existed, is not obviously a result of a technology that allows innumerable micro-networks to remain, like terrorist cells, for ever cut off from one another. I'm on the train, she's on the bus, he's in the cafe: if we don't know each other already, we are no more "networked" by our mobiles than we were by the hard-wired Bakelite monsters of old." -- The Guardian.
More than 4,000 mobile phone users are being sent a special text message by West Yorkshire Police, urging them to advise their operator immediately if their phone is stolen to stop it from being used again, according to The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. The Government funded initiative means to tackle street crime and runs alongside an advertising campaign targeting phone thieves.
Related initiatives around the world have been aimed at the thieves rather than the general public in a preventive way. Chinese officials, hoping to drive cell phone thieves crazy, send them a barrage of text messages, urging them to give themselves up to the police. And 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." cf SMS, a new weapon used by the police
The experimental m-ticketing project launched by Dutch public transport company, Noordned has proved such a success, that it will be extended to other routes, per an article in Europemedia. Passengers can either purchase a printed ticket, or order one online or call a special telephone number for an m-ticket, delivered onto their cell phone by SMS as a number code. Conductors equipped with special handheld computers, then validate the m-ticket, reading the number code.
Recents posts on M-Ticketing in this blog include: Airline M Ticketing Service offered by low fares airlines Ryanair.com and Mobi-tickets for concerts, a new system allowing fans to get into pop concerts using their mobile phones.
May 23, 2003
According to an article in The Hindu, AirTel, GSM mobile phone service provider in Delhi and The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), is offering students access to their exam results by SMS. They need only to send a text message to a short code with CBSE1 and their roll number, to receive their grades in return by SMS.
The results of the French Baccalauréat in the last three years have also been available to French lycéens at MobiliBac, a service provided by French Television TF1 and Vizzavi (SFR) operator.
Subscribers of mobile operator MTN in Africa, can now receive free SMS notification about all missed calls while their phones where not accessible, thanks to a new service dubbed 'Who called?', per an article in AllAfrica.com.
Opera, a Norwegian company known for its Web browser for full-size computers, has introduced a new browser suited for the tiny screen. It can be downloaded from opera.com for $39 and is compatible with the Nokia 3650 handselt sold in the United States, but will soon be extended to other Nokia mobile phones in the 6 series. Per an article in The New York Times.
Predictive texting allows mobile phone users to send an SMS by tapping on their keyboard only once, for each letter (instead of triple tapping), and Tegic and Eatoni are companies which provide this technology to phone manufacturers.
Now a new player claims the next leap in technology to make the lives of texters even easier is next word prediction. tx4u by AirTx should decrease the number of taps to send a text message, not only by learning new words but by learning about the way you commonly use word combinations, taking personalisation to a new level. As reported by Mercury News.
May 22, 2003
Low fares Airlines and Easy Jet competitor Ryanair.com is preparing to launch the first airline mobile ticketing service, allowing passengers to check in with an SMS ticket. M-Ticket is the second SMS service loffered by Ryanair's mobile strategy, it follows Txt&Fly, which enables users to sign up to receive details of flight deals. According to newmediazero.
3G mobile phone services operated by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa will include pictures and video clips from Playboy Enterprises, a spokesman for Hutchison's 3 UK said on Wednesday, per an article in CNN. 3's exclusive multi-year rights include access to 13 million photos and 2,000 hours of video programming. Content willld be controlled by a pin number to keep it restricted to adults.
This is major news from The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA), which is reminding all Americains in a press release, that text messaging can be a fast, efficient and reliable way to communicate in the event of an emergency. And, if more wireless users rely on text messaging in crisis situations, the people who need to make voice calls the most - emergency responders and 911 callers - can get through more easily. According to Cellular News via SMS: Business Gets the Message
Users will be able to register on the Royal Opera web-site to receive SMS alerts concerning opera and ballet performances and The Royal Opera in partnership with Buongiorno, the pan-European provider of mobile messaging services is planning to support the SMS with a direct marketing campaign, sending leaflets to student communities in London, Liverpool and Sheffield, where live open air screenings of the ballet Manon will be shown on 26th May.
3G mobile phone services operated by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa will include pictures and video clips from Playboy Enterprises, a spokesman for Hutchison's 3 UK said on Wednesday, per an article in CNN. 3's exclusive multi-year rights include access to 13 million photos and 2,000 hours of video programming. Content will be controlled by a pin number to keep it restricted to adults.
May 21, 2003
According to a survey conducted by the Mobile Data Association UK, 74% of women say they have used text messaging in the last two minutes compared with just 26% of men. 42% of the women questioned described texting as a way of sharing a popular interest with their children. Per an article in the BBC. And 51% declared that they would rather receive a text message than a card on special occasions, according to 160 characters.org