[VoiceOps] SMS apps, providers, and peers

Peter Beckman beckman at angryox.com
Wed Dec 9 14:13:24 EST 2009

On Tue, 8 Dec 2009, Alex Balashov wrote:

> Peter Beckman wrote:
>>  Hell, I'm not even sure what _I_ am doing next year, much less the rest of
>>  the world when it comes to text messaging communications.  I do know that
>>  SMS is growing now, is in active use now, and for me to put some effort
>>  into building a messaging infrastructure surrounding my VoIP service makes
>>  sense.  If I do it intelligently, then the messaging infrastructure I
>>  build now can support SMS now and whatever comes next later.
> Agreed.  At the end of the day, prognostication of such organic market trends 
> is informed voodoo at very best.  This will, as it has, remain a matter of 
> opinion at the end of the day.
>>  Most of the smartphones can't run a messaging app in the background, and
>>  if it can, which one should it?
> That is not entirely true.  Many smartphones can run a messaging app in the 
> background;  for those that can't, there are ways around it.  It's a
> nasty hack, to be sure, and I predict this aversion to TSRs will
> gradually go away, or be replaced by a more elegant compromise to support
> asynchronously generated incoming events without client-side polling (aka
> "push").

  And is limited to iPhone apps.  Sure, AIM could support it, and in theory
  any smartphone can support AIM if a client is written for it, and THAT
  smartphone supports either background apps or push notification.

  But that's a few million phones.  Not 4.6 billion.  No other active
  and installed messaging platform is in the hands, pockets or purses of
  more people than SMS.  Nothing.

  Until some app, service or messaging method hits 20% deployment on the
  world's 4.6 billion active subscribed phones, it doesn't matter what
  phones CAN do or how much better they can do it.

>> Look at Beta vs VHS -- better did not win.
> And BlueRay did not displace DVD.

  You can't compare 480p to 1080p.  Beta vs VHS was 480i to 480i.

> My position is a bet on whether mobile handsets will continue to be used
> principally as phones and textual data terminals in the next 1-3 years.
> I predict that they will not, and if they will, certainly the user
> expectations will grow to a superset of what SMS currently provides.  The
> price and maximum length of messages is the most crippling, not the
> format.

  Email is great for longer than 160.  It already works on most phones, even
  non-smartphones.  I have one of my Gmail accounts running on my Sprint
  Katana DLX, and I get almost instant notification when I get a new email.
  But I had to pay for a data plan to do that, and people who know my phone
  number but not what email address is attached to my phone can't send me

  You don't have to tell people anything other than your phone number (not
  your carrier, not your country, not your mothers maiden name) to enable
  them sending you a message.  THAT is why SMS rules, and will continue to
  rule, for some time.  I predict that SMS will continue to dominate well
  past 2015.  And even if it doesn't, I'm going to make some money off of
  SMS now and for the next 1-3 years as you predict -- not gonna sit on my
  hands waiting for the market to show me the light.

> It is not necessary to know what will replace it with great confidence in 
> order to be quite certain that it will be replaced by something.

  Will SMS be replaced by something?  Was the horse replaced by the Model-T
  in 1905?  Of course!  But who cares now?  It hasn't been replaced, there
  isn't anything that is even close to competing with SMS, and from a
  business standpoint, there is money to be made with SMS NOW.  When that
  something else comes along, we'll change.  Are you gonna stop investing in
  VoIP because it might be replaced by something else in 1-3 years?

> I suppose it really depends on the market and the context.  My argument is 
> not that SMS is not useful or sellable now, but rather that the onerous 
> terms, tight control and hefty minima aren't worth bothering with.

  I think the problem is that you haven't done any research into what it
  costs to get a single DID with SMS enabled, nor the cost per message.
  There are no onerous terms, tight control, or hefty minima if you find a
  tier 2 or 3 reseller who has gone through that pain themselves and will
  resell to you at a price you can resell to your customers.

  I think your argument is based on a single email in this thread that
  mentioned a $5,000 minimum with Syneverse or something.  There are other,
  less expensive and no-minimum ways to do SMS for VoIP, and that is why we

Peter Beckman                                                  Internet Guy
beckman at angryox.com                                 http://www.angryox.com/

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