Providing a reliable short message service is not difficult. Due to the way message delivery was designed, a user can rest assured that a message is either delivered or a delivery failure message will be returned, in which case the user may try resending the message at a later time.
Applications such as SMS chatting and Online SMS Business are not critical applications. An analogy is using IRC to chat with friends . Occasionally, packets will be lost and users would notice a gap in the communication flow that can be easily fixed by asking the other party to resend the message. Users usually tolerate occasional packet loss and interruption to the flow of communication. Reliability is not an issue for this type of application.
The Online SMS Business application provides the means for corporate users to reach colleagues in dispersed locations via the mass upload mobile phone number capability. Apart from this enhancement, sending a short message to colleagues using this application is no different from using the basic SMS; hence, the acknowledged message delivery capability is sufficient for this application.
TransSMS, an enhanced SMS service that allows users to send/receive messages in different languages, is another example of a noncritical application. TransSMS, however, relies on an additional element to provide its service, that is, the translation machine. The quality of the service is dependent on how good the translation machine is. An issue that should be considered is the possibility of a mistranslated text causing embarrassment to the communicating parties. Users ought to be made aware that what they receive is a translated text.
Services such as Flight Info and Yellow Pages make use of a two-way short message service based on the request-reply model. The service provider provides this service using service hosting via a global number and registers one or more keywords on its server, which can be used by the user to access the required service. When a user sends a message containing a keyword (e.g., YPAGESE) to the global number (e.g., 200200), the corresponding CGI script on the server is called. The script's response is returned to the user (e.g., the address and telephone number of the Embassy of Japan).
Unlike the other applications that demand minimal reliability, mobile banking and payment is classified as a critical application due to the nature of the transactions handled by the application. In order to ensure reliability of message delivery, the SC has to be a high-performance messaging engine that supports acknowledgement for MO-SM and MT-SM. The SCs have to run on single or multiprocessor hardware platforms to support high rates of message traffic without data loss or service failures. The service provider can transmit two-way text messages and notification alerts between customers and entities, such as e-mail, Internet, voice mail, fax, paging, and information content servers, and offer a full range of other messaging services.
Mobile banking could be a solution for a cashless transaction. There are suggestions that a combination of new technology payment systems may eventually lead to the "cashless society" (Connolly, 1998). Singapore, for example, has indicated that it aims to become a cashless society early next century. Advantages for mobile banking include the fact that there is no routing over public networks, the effectiveness of GSM encryption over the air interface, and the tamperproof smart cards. The single most important issue for users of mobile banking services is security, and until that matter is decisively addressed, mobile banking will fail to thrive (Rohde, 2000).
Early in this chapter, we mentioned the importance of SMS as an advertising and marketing tool. Even though SMS is a cheap, convenient , and quick way of reaching individuals directly, the use of SMS as a marketing medium has its own drawbacks to both consumers and advertisers. Mobile phones do not have spam filters, and as a result, it is virtually impossible for recipients to stop receiving messages even if they know who the sender is. Deleting short messages is also a more time-consuming and tedious process than deleting e- mails . Sending unwanted messages to mobile phones of a consumer might turn out to be damaging to a business brand. Since SMS is only less intrusive than other media when it is permission based, relevant, and meaningful, permission-based marketing should be used so that SMS can be utilized to its full potential.