Which ‘old’ technology will become a bigger part of our lives?

October 27, 2017 1:00 pm


We’re easily bored and it seems ‘change’ is the only constant in our lives today.

We have barely enough time to get used to one form of technology, before another smart application, AI, mobile, gizmo, game or software surprises us again.

It has been thought by many in the telecom industry that SMS is a technology that is past its prime.

The first SMS message was sent over the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1992. That’s old, by today’s standards.

Well, get used to it. SMS is here to stay and will become a bigger part of our personal and business lives in the future, experts say.

Why is that?

Read: Recovery in 2018 for GCC Mobile Market

Bright future for SMS  

New technologies making their way into our world seem to highlight the integral position of SMS in real time communications. When integrated, SMS could be the driver for new real communication applications and services.

Text Marketer, specialists in mobile marketing, says that 75 per cent of millennials prefer SMS messages for offers, surveys and deliveries and that 77 per cent of customers have a positive perception of companies who use text messaging.

Yet the company believes that, despite these facts, seven out of ten retailers are still missing out on SMS.

“SMS is not a trend, it’s something that is here to stay and its popularity and uses are growing by the day,” Text Marketer said.

In another study, the company announced that 98 per cent of text messages are open and read with average response times taking only 90 seconds, which is a winning average, if compared to 22 per cent for email.

According to Nokia, the average person looks at his/her phone 150 times a day. Enterprise software maker SAP says that 70 per cent of consumers say receiving an offer by mobile is more convenient than any other medium.

Read: Why publishers are not happy with Facebook

SMS predictions

Mobile Marketer, another online technology promoter, said that, for the past few years, the main focus for people and/or businesses was on having a mobile presence.

“There is a new step to take in 2017 and it is not just being mobile-first, but instituting an SMS-first strategy,” said Mobile Marketer on its website.

“An astounding 83 per cent of millennials open text messages within the first 90 seconds of receiving them and if you are not in the regular circulation of consumers’ top text messages, then your company is at high risk of becoming irrelevant in today’s always-on, connected world.”

In addition to Chat bots being a main success factor for companies in the future, the company said application-to-person text messaging, aka A2P SMS, will begin to generate an increasing amount of SMS revenue for years to come, starting from 2017.

“Appointment reminders, security authentication codes and delivery notifications are just some of the ways companies are using A2P SMS to increase efficiency and improve communication with consumers,” it said.
It added: “In fact, 62 percent of millennials prefer to get appointment reminders via text message from businesses.”

US research firm Gartner predicts that, by 2019, 20 per cent of major brands will abandon their mobile applications in favour of highly effective communication channels that appeal to younger generations.

“By 2025, 50 percent of text messages consumers receive will be from preferred businesses,” MobileMarketer said.

Read: Global digital transformation economy will cross $2trn in 2019

SMS’s middle men

Telestax Restcomm, an open source communications platform, believes that the rise of real time communications has not only placed a new level of importance on SMS technology, but has actually placed it at the core of most, if not all, real time communications applications.

“Simply put, SMS is becoming the lingua franca of real time communications,” it recently said in a report.

“The increased emphasis on SMS is great news for service providers because it has invigorated their business with new real time applications needing to communicate by way of mobile devices through messaging,” it added.

Technology companies know that SMS is a marketing winner with huge potential, and some of the new tech entrants are placing themselves smack in the middle of this transaction to make a profit.

“Communication Platform as a service (CPaaS) technology providers have wedged themselves in-between the SMS aggregator, shaving a lot of profit from service providers by charging the end customer transaction rates for sending and receiving SMS messages,” said Telestax.

“Service providers must become a CPaaS provider themselves or risk irrelevancy over time.”

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Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.



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