It's easy to write a 3rd party solution for smart phones, say like an IM or twitter client. But how do you open access to the hundreds of millions of people with regular phones. I think if someone can figure that out, you have a business model
The idea is that in some circumstances, such as sending a text message internationally, their service is cheaper than sending the SMS directly.
[Edit: here is the url: http://www.chompsms.com/ ]
Will the carrier bock my domain if I start sending 5,000 emails to subscribed cell customers on their network?
Do you have any real-world experience with sending large number of text messages via the various carrier email gateways? What are some of the gotchas?
Carriers have a very effective lock, but the OP is right -- this is something that is ripe for new solutions as smart-phones become more ubiquitous. This doesn't address the issue for millions of other subscribers that can only use phones (mostly Nokia) that can never have 3rd party apps installed.
Bottom-line: RIM takes care of managing the higher-level application logic (i.e. event triggers) and application data, and use wireless carriers as dumb bit pipes. It's an extremely capital intensive, but so far successful model and has remained one of their competitive edges in the wireless market.
Most individual (or very small businesses) would use...
BIS - Blackberry Internet Service (http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/internet/) which is also generally available as a cheap (<$10 p.c.m.) bolt-on by your service provider (atleast in the UK) on most pay-as-you-go/contract phones and requires little or no setup effort.
frontline sms can help a lot, too.
Having said that I think that currently SMS is more convenient than email, and perhaps a new short message standard should be considered to replace SMS. There are tradeoffs, though - if we switch to email then I have a way of receiving messages at multiple locations, eg. indexing my conversations on my PC as well as having them pushed to my device.
SMS is definitely a stop-gap that will die out when IP reigns supreme.
To the max.
€7/MB when roaming is pretty average in western Europe. I havn't seen a pan-Europe flat-rate dataplan. That's not even the worst part, it that there's a minimum 50kb charge pr. connection. Ick.
Interesting thing is, they route the data via my "home" network, instead of just dumping it on the nearest internet connection.
What are they using now? Or have people simply stopped texting?
It has basically just matured and become a daily tool. My dad even uses it. And he's just turned 67.
I'd be absolutely shocked if this continues until 2013.
I definitely get SMS spam. I think part of the profit model on SMS spam is that they are high-cost, opt-in messages (that you didn't sign up for). The senders are using a rebate style model, hoping you won't expend the effort of getting your carrier to remove the charges.
And then of course I get random, wrong number SMSs, which still cost me.
I have unlimited free incoming sms messages. The only time you get charged is if you're on some pay as you go plans with certain carriers.
Another thing that's crazy is the cost of your txting plans/packages. My mom and sister are on $25 plans here and get unlimited txting included for free.
Please don't believe the idiotic articles claiming that sending an SMS costs the mobile companies nothing...
That pretty much leaves the SMSC/MMSC (the dedicated hardware that processes messages in the center/edge of the mobile network). Perhaps $0.10/message was justified in 2000 when this stuff was only being used by phone geeks, but I think there's a bit of margin in it these days. :)
And sure - it costs the operator more than zero to send an SMS, but it's so close to zero that it's hard to tell the numbers apart.
The only thing that could replace it is IM clients on Phones. When each and every phone is always on and when everyone is always signed on, and when operators are nothing more than bit pipes, SMS's will become pointless. Lots of if's though. :)
And how about that price collusion, eh? They've gone up by a factor of 2 in a year for no reason at all related to either CAPEX or OPEX...
There are already alternatives, from e-mail to instant messaging to social networks, but none of them have the ubiquity, standardisation or simplicity of SMS.
Someone needs to create an alternative. Maybe it can be done on top of twitter.
Some sort of open standard based on microblogging might be an idea, though.
Not only is it free (with unlimited data plans), it's better than SMS because it adds presence, away messages, and the ability to instantly take a PC-based IM chat on the road, or vice versa.