Cell Phones No Longer Used for Calling SMS Continues to Break New Ground in B2C Efforts

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Of course, teens have long been way ahead of this trend, but the CTIA, The Wireless Association (www.ctia.org), now indicates that for the first time in the United States, the amount of data in bulk SMS text, e-mail messages, and streaming media surpasses the amount of data spent on voice calls in 2009. For many in the U.S., mobile phones have become indispensable time-management and organizational tools that also happen to help their owners stay connected by voice once in a while.

With strong competition between wireless networks and better SMS APIs, more and more Americans are abandoning traditional landlines in favor of cell phones as voice and text plans are now cheaper than ever. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. households now have a cell phone, but the growth in consumer voice minute usage has stagnated as consumers are now making extensive use of text messaging software and all the extras that iPhones, BlackBerry® devices and other smart phones are designed to do.

Mobile device owners now use their cell phones to keep grocery lists, record professor lectures, listen to music, track calories, check bank balances, and log miles at the gym, but the one thing they don’t often use their cell phones for is making calls. Phone calls are now deemed disruptive and time-consuming, and when people do talk on their phones, their conversations are notably shorter. The average call length has reduced to 1.81 minutes in 2009, compared to 2.27 minutes in 2008 according to CTIA. Figures also from the CTIA indicate that the average number of voice minutes used in the U.S. has also steadily fallen.

Mobile device manufactures have taken note of the recent changes too. Current handset designs are noticeably different as the focus moves away from voice calls to faster messaging with touch screens and full QWERTY keyboards. Most users now find they prefer sending messages via SMS gateway as they can update multiple people at once. Many people now find they have no patience for talking to just one person at a time unless the discussion is highly private or time-sensitive. Most communication now occurs in short messages through a number of services like Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook, where users find they can respond when it’s convenient instead of imposing their schedule on someone else.

Increasing consumer interest in smart phones and increasing participation in Internet access on their mobile devices has caused the introduction of a number of new mobile applications. As each mobile application is now in direct competition for the consumer’s attention, consumers will ultimately vote on their mobile experience with their spending power. The dominance of mobile carriers is now diminished as consumers turn their attention to the benefits they can get through different applications.

Short Message Service (SMS) has rapidly expanded from mere instant text messaging to a variety of new services. SMS money transfer is one service that allows users to send money to others through SMS providers. The end result is lowered costs, speedier delivery and absolute convenience when compared with other transfer services – even very popular Internet-based transfer services such as Paypal. SMS money transfer services have strong appeal to users in developing or emerging markets for all these reasons.

Bulk SMS messaging through SMS Gateway Providers for the purpose of mobile advertising also has very strong interest. Even in an economic downturn, mobile advertising continues to grow. With strong interest from advertisers, better Bulk SMS Software, and rapidly increasing numbers of smart phones, this very important and cost-effective advertising channel is now being opened to various media, including television, radio, retailers, and more.

Ultimately, the ubiquity of mobile devices and the ever-expanding capabilities of Short Message Services mean virtually unlimited possibilities for business-to-consumer (B2C) technologies that can be developed quickly, delivered immediately, and updated as often as necessary. Therefore, mobile Web technologies will be a key part of most corporate B2C strategies going forward.

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