Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Transatlantic Text Messaging Gets a Boost

Transatlantic Text Messaging Gets a Boost: "Verizon Wireless and Vodafone (Quote, Chart), two of the largest mobile carriers in the world, have teamed up to broaden the exchange of wireless text messages between North America and Europe -- and potentially increasing the technology's usage.

Starting early next year, customers of the leading U.S. carrier, Verizon Wireless, will be able to exchange messages sent using Short Messaging Service (SMS) with customers of Vodafone, the world's largest carrier and Verizon Wireless' partial owner."
"Underlying the two networks' new relationship is Vodafone's recent agreement with InphoMatch, a major player in routing SMS messages between networks. Specifically, the arrangement with InphoMatch removes technological hurdles barring Vodafone customers from exchanging messages with any of the non-GSM networks already serviced by InphoMatch, which has had Verizon Wireless as a customer since 2002. (However, interoperability agreements such as today's still need to be in place before messages can be exchanged.) "

SAD: The simple fact that some vendor can dictate who I can message with via my cell phone is problematic. Imagine at this day and age to be able to only call certain numbers from your cell phone? This may be one reason IM will win out over SMS longer term; at least users can decided for themselves who they communicate with once their cell phone is IM-enabled, cost being another issue altogether.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

ActiveBuddy Morphs Into Conversagent

ActiveBuddy Morphs Into Conversagent: "The New York-based firm, which markets bots, chat-based interactive agents, and the servers that power them for internal business and business-to-consumer use, said the branding change comes as it seeks to position itself as a provider of Web-based chat applications -- and reduce its brand reliance on instant messaging. That's a major change for a probably best known as the creator of the phenomenally successful SmarterChild consumer IM bot. "
Nevertheless, the move by the firm to distance itself from IM would seem to speak a great deal about the prospects for almost any sort of customer-facing IM application. After all, ActiveBuddy was one of the pioneers in IM-based consumer marketing, launching IM bots itself or providing technology to agencies to on behalf of Keebler, Dr. Pepper/7-Up Company, and New Line Cinema.