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The Future of Mobile Messaging

September 30, 2009

Last week I visited “The Future of Mobile Messaging”  – a great conference about mobile messaging in today’s world. It was amazing how entrepreneurs, telecom experts, marketing professionals and other active people in mobile world unified around the idea that the future of mobile messaging for consumers more or less belongs to the social media. Almost every single speaker was referring to Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn as an opportunity to launch the next kind-of killer service that will increase ARPU.

T-Mobile for example presented two handsets with entirely reshaped idle screen through which one can browse in a fancy way all contacts merged between handset’s phone book and the Facebook account.  She could see their status, latest wall posts and even call them with just a single click without the need to start any kind of application – it is just there, the first thing you see when the handset is switched on.  The service is only available to T-Mobile subscribers and most importantly – it is totally free. T-Mobile demonstrated a great market differentiation for the young audience and it will definitely rock the market.

The other key topics were that the potential of SMS for increasing ARPU is exhausted and MMS take-off was not as expected. The general expectation is that MMS has its chances but honestly, I don’t believe – let see.

During these two days it was discussed a lot about mobile messaging and all its varieties – SMS, MMS, USSD, instant messaging, texting to social medias, voice SMS, voice mail, even mobile advertising. But all of the talks targeted the consumers , the end users who are looking for entertainment, anytime, anywhere. And not a single word about the business users – do they employ mobile messaging and how? If yes, what are the most interesting messaging services for the businesses? What are the business models that will bring benefits to anyone in the value chain? That was strange. So here I’d like to share some thoughts of mine about messaging for the businesses:

  • Wireless M2M – M2M is an abbreviation for machine-to-machine and is a technology that supports communication between machines. M2M is used in telemetry, data collection, remote control, robotics, remote monitoring, status tracking, road traffic control, offsite diagnostics and maintenance, security systems, logistic services, fleet management, and telemedicine. The potential is huge especially in the wireless world where practically every device or machine can communicate with any other device or machine and transfers valuable data which allows to ease computing processes.
  • Device Management – it is a set of technologies, protocols and standards used to allow the remote management of mobile devices. For companies it means better control and safety thus decreasing the possibility for device downtime which improves collaboration and team’s efficiencies. It also saves the hassle of setting up, managing and monitoring an enterprise’s mobile assets individually. Usually the remote management is either triggered or even performed through messages between device management platform and mobile equipment. Nowadays more and more CIO and IT Managers discovers the threats from abusing mobile devices to be part of company’s asset management policies.
  • Unified Communications – integrating and bundling the regular voice and email communications with instant messaging and SMS/MMS has great potential for giving a push of the mobile messaging. The introduction of communications enabled business processes will increase even more the short message generation for asynchronous notifications, process life-cycle management (triggering, suspending and stopping) or data manipulation (creating, updating or deleting a data record in corporate and personal calendars, presence services or any other business-critical system).

I am sure there are many more business fields where mobile messaging will definitely bring additional values but in short the future of mobile messaging is bright. Mobile texting (SMS, mobile social medias, MMS) will help consumers to have a closer contact with theirs friends and families while for the businesses the overall effect will be higher reliability and flexibility in operations, better collaboration and improved efficiency.

Author: Stefan Lilov

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