SMS Texting Is Growing Up

My sixteen year old daughter last month chalked up over 6000 text messages on her cell phone. Two days ago a text message came to my cell phone from a candidate running for Governor of my state that I did not ask for. Have you had similar experiences? Recent studies say for those with teenagers the answer is most likely yes because 88% of teenagers have cell phones and 72% of those are texters, a number that just last year (2009) was only 65%. Brands, companies and people are adopting SMS as a viable tool for reaching the masses with a compound annual growth rate of 40.8% from 2008 to 2014 and it is obvious that even politicians are jumping on the band wagon to reach voters.

With the user experience between traditional telephone, computer and cell phone usage closing, the stigma and uses of data via the mobile phone are changing. These technologies are converging rapidly giving more options for the corporate world to create a positive customer experience. The question then arises – “Am I getting the most out of my communication tools”? Companies often face this question and need to carefully balance the benefit of these tools between the company and consumer. Convenience and simplicity becomes the formula for consumer adoption and satisfaction, while ease of deployment, increase in business and cost weighs in for the company.

SMS (Short Message System)/Texting adoption can be credited to our youth. As a social communications tool texting has become common place in their everyday lives. It is through the youth that adoption is increasing with the older users and opening the doors for companies to integrate traditional services with the convenience of texting. To utilize texting, whether it is for marketing or business processes, companies need a Short Code. Short Codes are a unique five or six digit number used to manage and deliver text messages in and out of carrier networks. Any company wishing to create programs or campaigns involving texting must pay large fees to use short codes.

So why is SMS “growing up”? Communications has evolved where companies can now integrate their traditional telephone services with their computer systems and provide unified communication services crossing all platforms. Companies like TSG Global, Inc., a leader in providing communications services, has eliminated the need for Short Codes and instead use regular phone lines enabled with SMS, further strengthening the unified systems platform. Noah Rafalko, CEO of TSG Global, Inc., www.tsgglobal.com says – “It is unbelievable the services we can offer our customers now. Communications has crossed over from just a bottom line expense to being integrated with services that strengthen customer relations while creating opportunities to generate more revenues.”

SMS is still growing up and may never become a grown up. If adoption continues to rise and communication companies continue creating great applications, products and services, companies and their customers will continue to grow together.

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Lg Km900 Arena Review – An Aladdin’s Cave of Features at a Reasonable Price

This phone reminds me of how Aladdin’s Genie described his situation once he had been released from his prison – “All that power locked up into a teeny, weenie little space! Gives you SUCH a crick in the neck!”

The crick in the neck with the LG KM900 Arena is that it is slow. That said, we are not all hyped-up yuppies requiring instant responses from the electronic equipment we have in our hands, and if speed does not really bother you and you have a much more relaxed attitude toward life when it comes to texting and other functions, then this phone may be just the thing for you.

The handset will cost you between £270 and £350 (SIM-free), depending on where you shop – with Amazon being the most expensive we found. On a pay monthly deal it can cost you as little as £5 per month, or on pay as you go from £300.

In terms of features, the Arena knocks the spots off iPhone, however in pure functionality – it fails to hit the spot – touchscreen phones are generally slow, often sluggish in their responses, and the Arena is no different. While the new S-class interface speeds things up a little, the phone is still lethargic and will frustrate the person who requires a more instant response from their connectivity-mate.

Speed aside, the tech-spec for the LG KM900 Arena is impressive indeed. This quadband phone functions on both 2G and 3G. GSM bands include 850, 900, 1800 and 1900. 3G HSDPA 2100 is available to the UK version, with the American dedicated edition working on HSDPA 850 and 1900.

Released in February 2009, the Arena weighs in at a mere 105g, and measures a shade under 106 x 55.5 x 12mm.

The 3.0 inch capacitive S-class Touch UI screen is capable of showing 480 x 800 pixels in 16M colours. It supports Multi-touch input and has an Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate when viewing landscape or portrait pictures simply by revolving the phone.

For the music fan, the Arena has both a 3.5mm audio jack for speakerphone plus the added bonus of Dolby Mobile sound enhancement.

To run all this, the internal memory is large at 8GB, and can be boosted to 32GB by means of microSD (TransFlash) card. Photocall is available, and call records are bumped to 40 dialed, 40 received and 40 missed calls.

For data handling, the LG KM900 Arena comes with Class 12 GPRS at 32-48 kbps (high speed) and 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, capable of running 10/54 Mb. Class 10 Edge at 236.8 kbps, 3G HSDPA at 7.2 Mbps, USB and Bluetooth at v2.0 complete the package. The phone does not support HSCSD.

For those who like to record their social events, the phone contains a 5 megapixel camera, with the max picture size of 2592 x 1944 pixels being made possible by the Schneider-Kreuznach optics, autofocus and LED flash. It also features Geo-tagging and image stabilisation.

Video at 720x 480 pixels at 30fps is possible, as is VGA at 30fps, QVGA time-lapse and slow-motion video recording. A secondary camera allows videocall.

If the list above is not enough, add on the rest of the features included in this whopping handset.

Messaging capabilities are SMS with threaded view, MMS, EMAIL. It has a WAP 2.0 browser, able to display xHTML and HTML. The radio has not been forgotten, FM is taken care of, with a bonus of an FM transmitter.

For the person who likes to relax with a few games, the LG KM900 Arena handset caters for them too. Java is supported (MIDP 2.0), as is GPS with A-GPS support and Google Maps.

Other features include TV-out, MP3/AAC/AAC+/WMA music player, Div/X/XviD/MP4 player, an organiser, Document viewer which caters for doc, xls, ppt and pdf, Voice memo and the all-important texter’s friend – T9 text input – probably very helpful considering the slow touch screen response times.

The battery included is a standard Li-ion cell with a capacity of 1000 mAh and allows for standby time of up to 300 hours, talk time of up to 3 hours 50 mins and music play time of up to 30 hours max.

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Benefits Of Online Texting

Texting is part of our everyday life – just take a quick look at your fellow commuters on the way to work in the morning and you’ll see just how much of our time is taken up with communicating with friends and family. But if you’re not too quick on the buttons or don’t like what ‘predictive text’ does to your messages, there is an alternative.

Online texting is an easy way to send out messages in bulk to more than one person at a time. It’s cost-effective, saving you both time and money, as it’s cheaper and easier to send texts from a computer than from mobile.

But where online texting really comes into its own is for business advertising and promotional campaigns. A comprehensive online texting service will include special features, making it a unique and affordable way to reach right into the pockets of your customers.

Unlike usual text messaging with mobiles, in which case you can’t send bulk SMS messages above a certain limit, you are able to send as many messages from your computer as you want, to multiple recipients at the same time. All of these features are very simple to use and also represent a great ROI, compared to texting with phone.

Send text messages in bulk and avoid delays

With an online SMS service you can send single messages to individuals, or bulk SMS to a select group of recipients. By delivering online text message from computer, you’re assured of their timely delivery.

This really is never guaranteed with SMS messages sent by mobile phones, where messages can get delayed or even lost. However, when you send a text message from an online source such as a computer, the SMS is distributed instantly and will get shipped straight to the recipient.

This is particularly helpful if you use email or text for marketing campaigns where you have to communicate frequently with your customers, or are undertaking various transactions such as providing coupons or time-sensitive offers.

Further more, according to Mobile Marketing Association 40% of consumers are interested in receiving mobile coupons and mobile coupon redemption is 10x that of traditional coupons.

Run your mobile campaign from your browser

It is much easier to type on a PC or laptop, compared to using a phone. You are also able to access symbols that are not available on a phone, allowing you to keep your message short and succinct without losing the meaning.

It also allows you to adapt your campaign to suit mobile users, and target multiple customers using the bulk SMS feature. Campaigns also often last for longer than one message, so why not set up a schedule of recurring messages that are designed to work with time-sensitive information and offers?

Any responses to your messages from your customers are automatically forwarded to your SMS online inbox, separating them from your usual emails and allowing you to monitor what level of response you are getting.

If you have not contributed to mobile advertising yet, then you might give it a try now as mobile advertising is expected to grow from £43.9 billion in 2012 to £83.2. billion in 2017.Low Cost International SMS

Send international messages and save money

One of the greatest benefits of online texting is the low cost of sending international text messages.

You can use an Email to SMS service and all the emails sent from your inbox will be forwarded to any mobile in the world.
Or alternatively you can also use Web to SMS service to send messages online.

You only pay for what you send, there are no monthly packages and your credits will never expire, making it one of the most cost-effective ways of managing an international campaign.

Reporting

So how effective is your campaign? Well, online texting services also offer you reporting functions, which you don’t get with mobile SMS.

Reporting gives you an overview of:

- The usage
- Campaign results
- Delivery quality
- Response rates
- Other useful statistics to manage your campaign more effectively

If something isn’t working then you can change it quickly, minimising your loss and maximising the possibility of getting a positive result. It’s 24/7 too, so you can always access the reporting interface online to check if all the messages have been delivered and measure the success of your campaigns.

Online text messaging is affordable, flexible and designed to deliver great results. That’s why more companies are using it to make a direct connection with their customers in a way that’s not possible using other methods. It represents a great ROI and puts you at the cutting edge of campaign management and promotion.

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