Texting is 'here to stay,' says SMS provider Clickatell

SMS use far greater than mobile apps for bank, airline notices, others

Even though mobile apps make big headlines, texting is far more widely used.

One SMS (Short Message Service) firm, Clickatell, believes the technology offers a robust way for companies to communicate quickly with customers.

A Sept. 14 Pew Research Center survey of 1,917 adult cell phone users found 72 per cent send or receive text messages on their cell phones, well ahead of the 29 per cent who use apps or the 30 per cent who send or receive instant messages. That's up from 65 per cent who said a year ago they send texts. Teens are "heavy" texters, defined as someone who receives and sends more than 50 texts a day.

Text messages are used by businesses in many ways. Bankers alert customers about impending overdrafts on accounts, airlines notify passengers of flight changes and dentists even advise patients of upcoming cleanings, said Clickatell CEO Pieter de Villiers.

Texting is quick, easy and widely used, which makes it ideal for businesses to push information to customers, de Villiers said in an interview. His company has 10,000 business customers who send texts over more than 800 wireless networks in 221 countries and territories.

"We have mom-and-pop businesses, banks, airlines and even Homeland Security through the GSA as customers," de Villiers said. "We are all in e-mail hell, and SMS at 160 characters sends finite information to the consumer."

"SMS is here to stay," de Villiers said. One reason he feels so confident is that 95 per cent of wireless phones, totaling 5 billion globally, support SMS, compared to fewer than 400 million smartphones that can be used to download apps, he noted.

"If you are a business or a Web site and you only focus on app markets, you are ignoring 85 per cent of the population that doesn't have a smartphone," he said.

Clickatell competes in the U.S. against Esendex USA, Sybase 365 and others. Clickatell only offers SMS for delivering SMS to a person using a cell phone from an application, PC or Web site, and not SMS from mobile device to mobile device. A business even as small as a dental practice can send SMS messages converted from e-mail for 3 to 4 cents per message on average in the U.S., although a U.S. carrier provisioning fee of $2,000 to $3,000 is required, de Villiers said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationClickatellmobile

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?