: SMS as killer app platform?"> The Telenor service demonstrates the power of the argument IBM engineer Wes Biggs put forward last year in an article for IBM developerWorks called "Smart and Simple Messaging: Discover the hidden potential of SMS as a killer app builder." "Like e-mail, SMS isnt sexy," Biggs wrote. "It isnt debonair by nature, nor can it be dressed up in fancy clothes. If youve got an SMS-enabled phone and a message arrives, youll see the message that was sent, no more, no less. It can be tough, therefore, to envision SMS as the foundation of a killer app. But building a killer app has less to do with sexiness than with providing a valuable service." Reagan Ramsey, executive vice president of media development at Telenor Mobile Interactive, told eWEEK.com that the companys chief challenge in deploying the service in the United States was negotiating billing and financial reconciliation with the telecoms. "We had to go to all the carriers and get them to agree to have us be an in-between party between them and the broadcaster, and we also had to get them to let us have access to their billing platform," Ramsey said. The service is now available on Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless, and T-Mobile. Anyone with text messaging capabilities built into their mobile deviceand thats most of uscan use it.Ramsey said SMS services are "starting to be very significant here in the U.S." For broadcasters, he said, "this becomes a revenue-generating activity" that complements their core business. Next page: More services on the way
For broadcasters, having a potential installed base of millions represents a ready-made pipeline into the very audience theyre attempting to engageyoung mobiles with cell phones and messaging devices appended to their hands.