SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Archive for February 4th, 2009

Get train tickets on your phone

Posted by Admin on February 4, 2009

I missed this the other, but CrossCountryTrains has launched a new service that allows passengers to buy tickets online and have them sent to their phone.

It is initially launching as a trial and will run on the company’s York to Edinburgh route. If your travelling from York to Edinburgh (or back the other way) and want to use the service, it seems pretty easy to do so. Just go to the website ( as normal to book your ticket and then sign up via the ‘m-ticket’ icon. The train ticket, which includes a security barcode, journey details and your name, will be sent immediately to your mobile phone as an MMS message.

All you have to do then to use the the m-ticket is present your mobile phone at the ticket barrier or to the train manager and show them the barcode ticket.

David Watkin, CrossCountry’s Commercial Director said:

“Our new m-ticket trial is yet another step forward for CrossCountry as it helps simplify the ticket buying process. Early customer feedback has been positive and comments from our customers have been vital to help us improve the service. People now expect to do so much more whilst on the move and we want to meet that expectation. We hope the trial will prove successful to enable us to roll out our m-ticket product across all CrossCountry services.”

It sounds like a great system and there’s nothing worse that faffing around looking for your ticket when you need to leave to get to the station. If you know it’s on your phone you know you won’t leave that behind. I just hope that it isn’t ruined by jobsworth train staff that don’t believe you when you show it to them.


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New SMS directory enquiry service launched

Posted by Admin on February 4, 2009

Yesterday a new SMS directory enquiry service launched. It’s called DQ4Mobile and only costs 25p per text, a quarter of the price of current 118 services. The key number to remember if you want to use it is ‘83211’.

To use it all you need to do is to text: What (eg “taxi” / plumber, Indian, electrician etc…) dot Where (eg “Nottingham”) to 83211 to find details of three services (eg taxi companies) operating in your area (eg Nottingham).

Kishore Kumar Sankla, the creator of DQ4Mobile said of the service:

“The costs of calling directory enquiry services from a mobile are much higher than from a landline phone. The advantage of texting 83211 means you don’t have to phone an expensive 118 operator to retrieve a number only to discover you have an expensive call transfer charge or have to wait ages for the text back service to respond. DQ4mobile is simple and straightforward to use, you could be anywhere in the UK and whatever service you need 83211 will provide you with the quickest answer to your request.”

dq4mobile1In the spirit of scientific research I decided to ask about taxis in Nottingham. The response was almost instantaneous, seemingly returning with a new message before I had lifted my thumb off the ‘send’ button. And as you can see from the picture it did what it promised to do – send me three numbers for taxi firms in Nottingham. I’ve not phoned any up as I don’t need a cab, so I can’t verify all the details. However, if you’re in a rush to get some details DQ4Mobile delivers … and quickly.

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