Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: AppDynamics Blog, Kevin Benedict, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Peter Silva

Related Topics: Mobile IoT

Mobile IoT: Article

Giving Text Messages a Voice

A Combination of Text Messaging and Voicemail, Voice SMS is the Latest Twist on the Burgeoning SMS Market

So pricing a voice SMS is equally an arbitrary exercise. For example, a user records a 20-second voice message that is sent from the handset as a voice call over the network to an interactive voice response (IVR) server, a trip that lasts around 30 seconds. The IVR server sends an SMS to the recipient. When the recipient clicks on the SMS, they make a voice call to the IVR server to hear the message, again another 30 second call. In the end, the system used two voice calls and an SMS message to complete the transaction.

In the early stages of adoption when there is no “real” peak traffic period, such a voice SMS ends up costing the operator nothing because the network isn’t fully loaded. If the service takes off, and people begin sending voice SMS messages at a high rate during the day, the operator will likely consider differential pricing based on peak traffic periods much as with voice calls.

Priced to sell
So what pricing model is going to work?

In most of the world outside of the U.S., voice SMS is priced somewhere between text messaging and voice calls. Case in point; voice calls in Asia are five to 10 times the cost of text messaging. This explains the growth of text messaging as a primary means of communication there. Most subscribers aren’t willing to pay huge bills for voice calls.

Progressive operators who have launched voice SMS services in Asia priced them to drive adoption as well as profits. In most cases, they are about two times the cost of a text message. That pricing model has worked as early statistics show rapid adoption. For example, DiGi reported a whopping 35 percent penetration in only six months. Subscribers sent more than 200,000 voice SMS messages a day by the sixth month.

Grameenphone’s first-year adoption may be a harbinger of things to come as operators around the world begin offering voice SMS. Launching in September 2005, the company priced its voice SMS service up to 66 percent higher than SMS. And yet, it had six percent adoption in the first week, and 40 percent penetration of repeat users (3.6 million) by August of 2006 – faster than the adoption of SMS in most markets.

Voice SMS works in areas where voice calls are very expensive (like Asia and Europe) only when they are offered as an operator service and priced accordingly. U.S.-based voice SMS service providers Kirusa and Bubble Motion have seen their stable of operators grow in Asia and the Middle East as demand grows and operators strive for competitive advantage.

In the U.S., it’s a different story. Voice services are cheaper per minute, and there are more minutes used per subscriber than most anywhere in the world. That’s a result of the fiercely competitive mobile services market here. Operators who want to launch voice SMS here shouldn’t price them any more than their text messaging if they want to speed adoption. Sprint offers a voice SMS service at the same rate as its text messaging. But the Sprint service only works with selected handsets on the Sprint network, not with every 2G or 3G handset in the country.

But the competitive landscape in the U.S. has also created a market opportunity where service providers can offer voice SMS independently of an operator. Pinger.com is an Internet company launched in 2005 to enable users to dial a number, key in or say a number (or name if you’ve loaded a directory), and record and send a message over the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The recipient dials a number and retrieves the message. It works on all of the major carrier networks and it allows users to send and receive voice SMS messages to and from other countries around the world.

This scenario won’t work in Asia or Europe because the high cost of voice calls would make it prohibitively expensive for a third party operator to negotiate the termination fees between operators, countries, etc.

Whether voice SMS evolves from a flat-rate, niche, “hip technology” to a messaging necessity that operators will ultimately charge a premium for remains to be seen. Early analysis suggests that voice SMS plays to a common theme among successful mobile applications – new, more personalized communication option. As long as operators deploy it without requiring new handsets or major network upgrades, and price it appropriately for their markets, they have the best shot at making it profitable and driving its adoption.

More Stories By Brough Turner

Brough Turner oversees the evolution of technology and product architectures and works on business strategy and new market development at NMS. He is a recognized expert in the telecom industry and has been heavily involved in VoIP since 1996. Brough invented the multi-vendor integration protocol (MVIP) and led the MVIP consortium as well as worked within the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group to drive the creation and adoption of CompactPCI. Brough earned a bachelor?s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Join IBM June 8 at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn how to innovate like a startup and scale for the enterprise. You need to deliver quality applications faster and cheaper, attract and retain customers with an engaging experience across devices, and seamlessly integrate your enterprise systems. And you can't take 12 months to do it.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
The paradigm has shifted. A Gartner survey shows that 43% of organizations are using or plan to implement the Internet of Things in 2016. However, not just a handful of companies are still using the old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways, unaware of the critical barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can you become a winner? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will present a methodical approach to guide the holistic adoption and enablement of IoT implementations. This ov...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...