[VoiceOps] SMS apps, providers, and peers

Alex Balashov abalashov at evaristesys.com
Mon Dec 7 21:07:13 EST 2009

Perhaps my suggestion will be dismissed as flippant, but why would 
anyone bother, at this point, to make serious investments in 
SMS-related services and technology, including contracts, high 
commitments, administrative overhead, API development, etc?

It is a technologically primitive but pervasive (for the moment) 
profit center for the mobile carriers because it incurs virtually no 
marginal cost for them;  SMS messages are carried as padding in 
control frames exchanged among network elements (as well as towers to 
handsets) that are sent anyway.

It is, however, blatantly obvious that unlimited data plans provide an 
unmetered alternative that is not nearly as lucrative for the 
carriers.  What's saving SMS right now is its ubiquity on 
non-"smartphone" handsets and deliberate stalling action arising from 
the collusion of handset vendors with operators to make SMS 
alternatives that run over 3G/EDGE/GPRS/etc., when available, less 
convenient and straightforward to use on the phones' interfaces from a 
user experience perspective.  Of course, the 
aggregators/clearinghouses have a stake in it too.

SMS is widely used and nearly universal, but like anything else 
founded on the sort of inherent tension I just described, its days are 
numbered.  I would encourage forward-thinking voice companies to help 
assist in its demise rather than spin their wheels and perpetuate it. 
  You'll be that much the poorer.

Alex Balashov - Principal
Evariste Systems
Web     : http://www.evaristesys.com/
Tel     : (+1) (678) 954-0670
Direct  : (+1) (678) 954-0671

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