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Messaging

Trillions of SMS are already sent each year, and with more bandwidth available on mobile networks, both voice SMS and video SMS are becoming feasible. In less developed countries, voice SMS is a popular and economical substitute for voice mail. Because of the interest in video in more developed countries, video mail seems likely to grow in popularity as an enhanced version of voice mail.

SMS also seems to be the ideal vehicle for location-based advertising since it is less intrusive than a call and can be accompanied by an enticing picture or video and a discount offer. Response rates have been encouraging because of the immediacy of the appeal and the interactivity and personalization that magazine ads or billboards cannot match. Because of the higher response rates, SMS ads are commanding much higher placement rates, typically more than twice that of text-based ads.

Social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, also use SMS as a communication and advertising vehicle for members. Businesses are using SMS to proactively reach customers with low account balances or delayed flights, which cuts down on calls to IVR systems and contact centers. 

Finally, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications use SMS. Vending machines can report inventory levels, utilities can use smart metering to track gas and electric usage, and healthcare workers can monitor patients remotely. Such services are also expanding from monitoring to control, again using SMS messages.