SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Posts Tagged ‘M2M’

Text messages to immobilise cars

Posted by Admin on January 26, 2009

A report today in the motoring publication Motors Today claims that “Traffic police may soon be able to use text messages to immobilise cars used by criminals.” It goes on to say that “Senior police officers believe new technology could help them overcome some of the dangers of stopping stolen cars and getaway vehicles.”

Apart from the fact that they call this ‘new’ technology, it might just work.

Presumably each car will be registered with a ‘mobile number’ at the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) which only the police will have access to. Then if that vehicle is reported stolen, or is seen involved in a crime, the police can send a message to the number disabling the engine.

Issues of safety will have to be worked out (ie the car can’t be stopped immediately as it might cause an accident), but it seems like a good use of M2M SMS to me. If it is up and running, then it may even prove, finally, to be a good use of location based services.

I’m not sure it will be easy to introduce and will take a long time to get all cars fitted with this system. It will be expensive for old cars to be retro-fitted and in the meantime criminals will just target older cars, which may themselves be less safe. But I think that new M2M uses of mobile connectivity is one of the big growth areas for operators in the future.

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Alan Pascoe of Tekelec answers our questions

Posted by Admin on January 20, 2009

Over in North Carolina in the US, a multi-media mobile messaging specialist company called Tekelec goes about its business. In the heart of this US company, a Brit, Alan Pascoe, works as the Senior Manager of Product Marketing. Alan gave me some of his time to answer a few questions.

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tekelec-alan-pascoe-1Please describe your service?
SMS is one of the key underlying services that mobile operators provide. The Tekelec Mobile Messaging Solution ensures that the mobile operators continue to maintain high standards of service by ensuring a cost effective and seamless transport of mobile messages. Tekelec Mobile Messaging Solution also serves as a platform that launches a wide range of new and innovative text-based services that will generate more revenues from SMS. Operators can also use the solution to install firewalls that block spam and insert advertising in text messages.

Why use it?
The Tekelec Mobile Messaging Solution enables operators to reduce capital and operating costs (CAPEX/OPEX), which is especially valuable in today’s economy. The system also provides operators with the facility to offer consumers opt-in SMS advertising in exchange for discounts on calls, text messages and other services.

What about Consumers?
End-users, or mobile subscribers, access the Tekelec Mobile Messaging Solution whenever they send or receive an SMS. An incentive for the consumer is the fact that Tekelec Mobile Messaging Solution allows operators to offer spam prevention and advanced anti-spoofing features, eliminating any potential threats or irritating spam messages before they reach a subscriber’s handset.

What do you think is the future of mobile applications?
From what we are seeing in the market, the future for the trusted SMS is very bright. The growth in application-based SMSs has been quite dramatic and will keep on growing. The application of SMS has become far reaching, particularly in the area of machine-to-machine (M2M). For example, SMS can replace the current fixed line system that is used to communicate when a vending machine is running low on supplies of drinks or chocolate. Why not install a machine with a wireless device that sends an SMS to an application? This will allow the vending machines to be more flexible and portable, and it reduces the need for a leased transmission line.

Mobile advertising is also an early-stage opportunity to send customers relevant material, since the mobile phone offer the most personal and immediate means to interact with the consumer. However at this stage in the evolution of mobile advertising the key is to get the customers to opt in for the adverts.

Have you got anything else in the pipeline?
At the moment, SMS is a system-wide service, which means that every person gets the same level of service. Tekelec is currently working on a set of new and innovative features that will provide operators with the ability to offer SMS on a personalised level. This new approach will have two big advantages for operators: for one, it will help to reduce churn by offering differentiated services to select customers, and two, there is an opportunity for the operator to increase revenues through these new premium personalised services.

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Thanks Alan. I’m particularly interested in the idea of SMS to work in the M2M area. I think this and the ability for consumers to be able to interact with machines/devices from their phones is, as yet, an under-utilised arena for mobile operators. It’s the perfect use of a mobile phone – switching the heating on while you’re on the train on the way home.

If operators can avoid talking about the technology, but really selling the benefits, I can see everyone sending text messages to the different applications in their house, giving them added control and making their lives easier.

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