22 years ago today, the first text message (reading ‘Merry Christmas’) was sent by Neil Papworth via Vodafone UK’s ‘GSM’ network. Since then the SMS has gone from strength to strength driven by mobile device accessibility and global user adoption. Read more.
Businesses rely on a number of different communication channels these days, online and offline. Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director at BulkSMS.com explains why the text message has stood the test of time and continues to play an important role in business communications. Read more.
Greenpop is a social business that believes green and sustainable living can be fun, popular and accessible for all. They believe in inspiring a greener, more conscious, inclusive movement and do this through tree planting projects, green events, education, social media and volunteerism. Read more.
While many in the developed world have begun to look down on the SMS as a somewhat outdated form of communicating – preferring instead to use instant messaging tools such as WhatsApp and BBM –SMS is playing an increasingly powerful role in developing countries where Internet access is either patchy or simply non-existent. Read more.
Businesses are finding it increasingly challenging to get hold of clients telephonically, even though most customers prefer personal contact when their input is required. Calls may go unanswered for a number of reasons, the most common reason being that the receiver does not wish to answer a call from an unknown or private number. Such calls have a much higher chance of being a telemarketing call. Businesspeople now get to screen their own calls – this is somewhat different to a past where the office receptionist or secretary screened incoming calls. Read more.
What’s the hot new messaging app that all the kids are using? Can WhatsApp keep its credibility after its multi-billion dollar acquisition by Facebook? Has Snapchat reached its popularity peak? What’s the buzz on Telegram? If you’re over the age of twenty-five, you can be forgiven for feeling lost and adrift on a sea of instant messaging platforms. With so many competing services to choose from – each with their own functionalities, communities, etiquettes and more – how can businesses choose the right messaging platform for their needs? Read more.
The issue of SMS interconnect rates has been a hot-button topic of late among mobile service providers and other industry players in South Africa, and is undoubtedly one that will not be solved in the short term. It is also a complex issue, and one that requires understanding on both a technical and conceptual level. So first off, some background is needed. Read more.
Like any major sporting event organiser, the team at the Castle Triathlon Series are no strangers to the complexities of dealing with large numbers of people converging at a location for a short period of time. Castle Triathlon’s logistics are amplified by the fact that they run triathlons at five historic locations across the UK, France and Ireland. The UK and Irish castles and the French chateau provide a draw not just for the athletes but also for their families and friends who come to cheer them on. Read more.
As with almost every other sector under the ‘technology’ banner, the mobile industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and is constantly iterating to meet the demands of an increasingly large and sophisticated market. At BulkSMS.com, we keep a close eye on the changes that affect the end user, as well as the trends that we believe are shaping the industry. Looking ahead to 2014, here are some of the topics that will undoubtedly impact the mobile services that have become such a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. Read more.
New Sender ID ruling for SMS messages sent to Italy - A new resolution for sending SMS messaging to Italy came into effect on 15 October 2013. The rule requires that the senders of bulk SMS messages register their Sender ID with AGCOM, the Italian Communications Authority, as per AGCOM Resolution No. 42/13/CIR NRA entitled: Rules for Testing of Indicators for Alphanumeric identification of the Subject in the caller SMS/MMS used for Messaging Services. A Sender ID cannot be used if it has not been registered on AGCOM’s database. Read more.
The Federal Communications Commission has issued rules to ensure consumer protection in regard to commercial SMS messaging; that is the sending of marketing text messages to mobile phones. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and CAN-SPAM Act are the applicable laws regulating marketing using SMS messaging in the United States of America. Read more.
Instant messaging (IM) applications have taken the world by storm. The likes of Skype, WhatsApp and Viber allow groups and individuals to ‘chat’ in real-time, exchange images, video clips and links to websites. IM has become widely accepted by consumers, particularly smartphone users, and nowadays people are constantly glued to their applications to keep up-to-date on the latest gossip and events. Read more.
Businesses that shrugged their shoulders in resignation at the thought of an increase in SMS costs thanks to the introduction of an A2P SMS interconnect fee are in for a pleasant surprise. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the arrival of an SMS interconnect fee generally results in lowered prices, and exactly that has happened in South Africa. In addition, businesses can expect SMS quality to improve as well. Read more.
Some commentators on the state of the SMS messaging industry point to the death of SMS as a communications medium. This may be true for global consumer use of SMS messaging in the face of newer communication technologies but these prophecies of SMS’s doom are overstated when looking how SMS continues to be integral for business messaging. Read more.
Dash2do.com is a self-service online platform that provides inidivuals and businesses with services to create more time and improve efficiency. It bases its competitive advantage on the provision of customer service excellence. In pursuit of this strategy the company looked to BulkSMS.com’s text messaging solution which is now integral to the business on all levels from accepting bookings to assigning people to staff bookings, and finally billing the client for the work done. Bulk SMS is helping build trust in its brand as the ‘concierge service of choice’. Read more.
We’re living in a mobile age where texting is second nature to most people with a mobile phone and text messaging is increasingly used for business communications. Short message services (SMS) open up a number of capabilities for businesses of any size to deliver information to customers that keeps them in the loop and offers customer satisfaction. Dr Pieter Streicher, Managing Director of BulkSMS.com, a provider of messaging services to businesses, discusses the latest developments in SMS communications. Read more.
Keeping track of the latest version of impending legislation as it makes its way though the South African parliamentary system can be a nigh on impossible task. So prepping your business for upcoming law – such as the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Bill – can be a challenging and stop-start affair. Read more.
2013 will be a pivotal year for the South African SMS industry as the issue of interconnect fees is resolved, and mobile networks charge each other for terminating application-to-person (A2P) SMS messages, doing away with the vagaries of the gentlemen’s agreement between the operators that maintain the status quo. Technically, we’re going to see SMS become a more dynamic communications medium incorporating rich media interactivity. Consumers using paid for mobile content subscription services are going to be better protected with double opt-in capabilities introduced by all the mobile operators. Read more.
BulkSMS.com highlights the benefits of texting in driving effective customer acquisition and relationship management strategies Text messaging is second nature to mobile users - a received technology that people understand. It is also quick, easy and low cost and as a business communications tool and its star is still rising. It is estimated that application-to-person (A2P) messaging will overtake person-to-person (P2P) messaging by 2016. That’s no mean feat in a consumer market like America, for example, where 174 million mobile users text every day. Read more.
This was the year when the SMS interconnect fee issue finally came to a head, with Cell C forcing the issue by breaking the existing gentlemen’s agreement between the network operators. It also saw the opt-in/opt-out debate being settled with the forthcoming passing of the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) happily key clauses were not as watered down as initially feared. And in a major step forward, Vodacom’s double opt-in capabilities have had a dramatic impact on reducing the number of complaints about subscription service sign ups. Read more.
A recent change in how Cell C is terminating application-to-person (A2P) SMS messaging has opened a can of worms in the local mobile messaging industry. The move by Cell C seems sure to undermine the “gentlemen’s agreement” between mobile network operators not to compete on A2P SMS messaging. Read more.
Companies should be careful of buying into the doomsday predictions around the demise of SMS. If they do they will risk missing out on the excellent business opportunities that the SMS channel offers them. Read more.
With mobile phone penetration now around 85% worldwide, the strategic use of SMS offers significant benefits for companies and organisations that can get it right. Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, a provider of two-way SMS communications services, believes that SMS helps to build relationships and create customer loyalty by offering timely and worthwhile information. Read more.
Despite SMS’s amazing longevity and the ability to adapt it for a range of personal and business communication needs over the last two decades, SMS is not immune to misuse that may result in devaluing it as a communications channel. This is why it is imperative that businesses and consumers fight to maintain the integrity of SMS messaging or risk losing it due to inboxes overflowing with spam. Read more.
A Cape Town mom is more than a little displeased with her children’s primary school. During the recent heat wave in the Western Cape, the school cancelled athletics practice due to the extreme temperatures. The teachers went home and children, under the age of 13, had to wait alone outside the school in the heat until their parents picked them up at the time the sports practice was meant to end. The school had no way to alert the parents of the change of plans when they decided to cancel athletics at the last minute. Read more.
The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) allows sending unsolicited direct marketing communications (which is commonly seen as spam by many consumers) under certain conditions. However, if one looks more closely, it turns out that it is simply not possible to comply with these conditions with SMS communications. Read more.
2012 is the year the electronic communications opt-in vs opt-out debate is going to come to a head, and the fallout is going to have a significant impact on both businesses and consumers. Related telecommunication regulatory decisions are going to affect both the price of SMS, as well as the amount of SMS spam consumers receive every day – directly impacting the efficacy of the medium. Read more.
When Spanco, a power provider to the city of Nagpur in central India, was forced to start load shedding in October 2011 it was unable to send SMS notifications to the 225,000 customers who had provided their mobile numbers. According to an official from Spanco speaking to the Times of India, despite publicity about the load shedding many customers were still unaware of it and the company was inundated with calls from angry customers complaining about power cuts. In addition, the company was no longer able to send customers acknowledgements of bill payments or complaint reference numbers by SMS. Read more.
The latest South African crime statistics for 2010/2011, released earlier this month, could probably best be summarised as “improving, but could do better”. While there have been reductions in the murder and attempted murder rate, assault, robbery and attacks on policemen - fighting crime should still be at the top of South Africa’s agenda. Read more.
While a cat has nine lives, it seems that SMS has an infinite number of lives. So while the rise in mobile instant messaging (MIM) has been heralded as its end, a closer look shows that this rather increases SMS’s value in the corporate space. Read more.
In an increasingly energy conscious world, AdInfa has developed InSite, a technology solution that allows data centres to monitor their IT equipment energy consumption. This is crucial in providing a business case for optimising operational efficiencies and reducing energy bills and carbon footprint. The InSite system is enabled to send automated SMS alerts to companies when pre-determined or unpredicted critical events occur in the monitoring of their data centre infrastructure. Read more.
The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Bill is at serious risk of being watered down to such an extent that it is rendered ineffective and meaningless when it comes to preventing consumers from receiving email and SMS spam. Read more.
It seems a bit crazy to call a technology that is coming up for its twentieth birthday a “veteran”. But if you consider the massive explosion of digital communications technology over the past few years, you start to realise just how long SMS has been around for. Read more.
As we’ve started to see in South Africa and across the rest of the continent, the potential for mobile-enabled healthcare is enormous. Evidence from the GSMA Mobile Health Summit held in Cape Town at the start of June shows that mobile operators are currently leading the pack in this space. Going forward, however, it is vital that the balance of power shifts from the mobile industry to the healthcare sector, to allow the burgeoning mHealth sector to reach its full potential. Read more.
SMS is the perfect emergency communications channel, right? People always have their phones with them, especially in an emergency; you can easily send one message to a number of people; and you can text when you can’t talk. Read more.
Over the last few years, South African legislation has slowly started catching up with electronic communications, and I had high hopes that the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) would provide the final piece of the puzzle to both protect consumers and allow businesses to continue to market directly to people in an ethical way. Read more.
Communications technology, such as the internet and mobile phones, certainly make life easier: from online banking, to staying in touch, to news and weather on the go, and all the other benefits that have become such an integral part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, the same technology has also made it easier for criminals to prey on the young for purposes such as child trafficking. Read more.
Checkatrade.com, an online business information provider based in the United Kingdom, uses text messaging to contact their members. Read more.
There is no denying that the launch of a “do not contact registry” to allow South African customers to permanently opt-out of all unsolicited marketing communications is a massive step forward for consumer rights. But customers need to understand the limitations of the mechanism, companies need to be ready to comply with the new law, and especially smaller companies need to consider the implications of having to regularly query the database. Read more.
Today the early warning for a government in trouble seems to be when the rulers in question clamp down on electronic communication, especially Social Media and SMS. We’ve seen it happen across the African continent and further afield, starting with Mozambique and India in 2010, and then this year in Egypt, Tunisia and Cameroon. In fact Ethiopia got the ball rolling back in 2005, with a two-year SMS ban after election violence. Read more.
BulkSMS.com will have a stand at the Internet World exhibition taking place at Earls Court 2 in London from the 10th to the 12th May 2011. Please come and visit us at stand number E6082. We will be there from 9.30am to 5pm on the 10th and 11th of May and 9.30am to 4pm on the 12th of May. We will be showcasing and demonstrating the BulkSMS text messaging services including our new iPhone app. Read more.
Today, access to high-tech communications is accepted as integral to modern life. When the ability to communicate using a digital communication channel such as SMS is banned in a country for political reasons, people inside and outside that country take umbrage to the denial of services. Yet, these attempts by governments to limit communications are an indication of the power of mobile and Internet based technologies to help foster revolution. Read more.
Mobile payments for mobile subscription services are receiving much news of late due to negative consumer sentiment over unsolicited billings. Read more.
Time and time again SMS is the technological exception to the rule. Not only is it incredibly resistant to downward price pressure, which has seen it immune to the dramatic price drops in the tech world over the last 10 years, it also refuses to be usurped by newer technologies. Read more.
Romance has not died in the digital age. It seems to be blossoming according to a recent online survey about South African’s romantic mobile habits. Read more.
Rod Buck, a hang glider pilot and owner of Telespeed Weather Systems, runs Wendy Windblows, a weather data collection service that sends a text message or an email to relevant subscribers when predetermined weather conditions are met. Read more.
2011 Is the year South African consumers become amongst the best protected in the world thanks to two important new laws. Far from seeing this as a threat, businesses should see this as a huge opportunity for improved customer communications, especially if they have SMS included in the mix. This is one of the main trends we predict for 2011. Read more.
According to Clay Shirky, renowned digital media commentator, “communication tools don’t become socially interesting until they become technologically boring.” Now while I’ll never consider SMS boring, I’d argue that SMS has become so entrenched in our day-to-day lives that it meets this criterion, and has not only become socially interesting, but is impacting our society in significant ways. Read more.
Up until the beginning of the twentieth century, the island of Martha’s Vineyard, off the east coast of the USA, had twenty times more Deaf inhabitants for its population size than the rest of the country. But the islanders didn’t consider this hereditary Deafness a disability because the entire community, both hearing and Deaf, were proficient in sign language and this removed any communication barriers and made being Deaf a non-issue. Read more.
While your cell phone has access to the same Internet that your PC has access to, it also carries a link to your phone bill and this combination affords new billing mechanisms to content providers. This change can catch consumers unaware and could result in unexpected cell phone charges. Read more.
When we were children the standing joke was that the kids, had to set the video machine for their non-technical parents. We’d grown up with video machines, while for our parents they were still new-fangled devices. Read more.
The fall-out from the recent ban of bulk SMS in India serves as a dramatic reminder about just how entrenched those 160 characters have become in the daily lives of both people and businesses the world over. Read more.
The high-profile Glenn Agliotti court case taking place in South Africa has once again highlighted the role cell phones and SMS play in the law. Unsurprisingly, because cell phones are such an essential part of our everyday lives, and track just about all of our movements and communications. Read more.
Mobile phone handset designers should look to social networking for inspiration to improve the management of communications on phones, says BulkSMS.com’s managing director, Pieter Streicher. He maintains that it is ridiculous that many aspects of the mobile phone user interface haven’t changed in ten years, especially when it comes to contact management and SMS functionality. Read more.
BulkSMS.com re-launched its website on the 19th June 2010 to reveal its new, yet still recognisable corporate identity. The website redesign also incorporates a number of changes to ensure an improved experience of the company’s SMS messaging services and provides a better user experience for existing clients as well as new visitors to the BulkSMS.com website. Read more.
SMS, the happy accident of mobile technology that turns 17 this year, shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, maintains Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, if anything, SMS is going to accelerate its stellar trajectory thanks to increased business adoption. Read more.
The spread of mass panic through SMS is unnecessary and people need to learn to look at information with a more critical eye. Read more.
Businesses will have to dramatically rethink their marketing and communication strategies once the Protection of Personal Information (PPI) Bill is enacted into law. Read more.
SMS language or ‘textspeak’ is taking a lot of flack for the general misuse of the English language today – both in spelling and grammar. But is it all negative? Read more.
SMS has become a trusted medium of communication for businesses and has added to the operational efficiency by enabling the sending of a quick and relevant message to a targeted database of contacts. But is the rise of social media sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter alongside instant messaging services offered by Skype, MSN and ICQ threatening the place of SMS messaging? Read more.
The introduction of a small interconnect fee for SMS messaging is essential in an environment where both businesses and consumers rely on SMS messaging for communication purposes. Read more.
Pieter Streicher, MD of BulkSMS.com calls for SMS providers and cellular networks to better control the use of alphanumeric sender IDs. Read more.
Most motorists do not realise the serious hazards of using their phones, says Pieter Streicher, Managing Director of BulkSMS.com. Read more.
In order to make our pricing structure more easily understood, BulkSMS is changing the pricing structure of SMS credits on www.bulksms.net. The cost of sending a text message from our messaging service will remain the same. Read more.
Did you bundle yourself and your kids up, ice skate to the car, drive slowly but steadily to the school, endangering the lives of your precious cargo as well as other motorists, only to arrive at the school and find out that the school has been closed for a “snow day”? Read more.
Around the world, people are increasingly conversing using SMS, and making fewer and fewer voice calls, particularly in the youth market. A recent Washington Post article looks at how the “texting generation doesn’t share boomers’ taste for talk”. Increasingly consumers are having interactive and effective asynchronous conversations, even though they are not in real time, via SMS. Read more.
Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, says the possible reduction in mobile call charges will change consumer behaviour and stimulate SMS business communications. Read more.
Zero interconnect fee for SMS is a problem for the SA industry, says leading messaging service provider. Read more.
Piet Streicher, MD of BulkSMS.com says that “traditional” digital communication mediums will not be replaced by social media. Read more.
Changes in consumer behaviour and technology are shaping cellphone use. One area that is increasingly gaining attention is how consumers are moving away from voicemail and towards SMS messaging. Read more.
Many schools have adopted bulk SMS messaging to improve communications with parents of school-goers. The traditional communication channels were all problematic in that notes sent to parents via learners often got lost; calling a number of parents telephonically can be very time consuming and; not all parents have access to e-mail and the internet. Read more.
Businesses confidence in SMS messaging continues to increase as messaging industry revenues are forecasted to grow despite the global downturn in the markets. Read more.
Consumers should begin treating their cellphone bill like they do their credit card statement and check all deductions. With the increase in ease of mobile payments, especially via premium rate SMS subscription services, consumers should scrutinise their bills just as they would their credit card statements. If not they may be shocked by unexpected cellphone charges at the end of a month. Read more.
SMS technology enables companies to increase efficiencies within their supply chain management and logistics operations. In using SMS for mission critical communications within extended business processes, companies are able to translate the implementation of SMS technology directly into cost benefits and increased service levels. Read more.
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