Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Text Message Nation

Featured on the UpFront section of the Jan 23rd issue of Business week (Online subscription needed to access online) was an article on how South Korea issuing Text Messaging in new ways. The government has started to deliver via cell phone progress reports on legal proceedings and notices of fines for traffic and other violations. The goal is to save $1.2 million from the government's $2.3 million yearly bill for postage.
This is a first for the government to use SMS but others such as Banks have been widely using it to confirm transactions via TXT, Doctors confirm appointments, and in 2004 KEB (Credit Service company) delivered 161 layoff notices!
I predict 2006 will see a immense growth in txt messaging here in the US and worldwide for that matter, with cell phones coming with more multimedia applications and websites/mobile communities like UPOC , WinkSite, and others surfacing where you can keep in touch with friends or meet new ones. The opportunity is for a service to fill the niche of free international txt messaging. The closest is text message a web based service for txting US and some UK carriers. I like to see a service that allows free internationally texting to any cellphone provider or even be ad based, you would still encounter your own sms charges on your end if you don't have a Messaging / data plan...but who doesn't have that anymore..? Ideally to be a fully mobile txt messaging service it would be something like skype where each member gets a unique phone number which is linked to your cell phone just because being fully web based would limit you to being in front of your PC and that isn't much fun.