Needleman on WAP: embrace SMS instead

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From: Sally Khudairi (
Date: Fri Jan 05 2001 - 05:09:29 PST

Unsure of where the revelation stems from, considering so much of this
perspective has already been stated. But there you go.

- Sally


Red Herring Catch of the Day
The wireless message

Every time I write about WAP (wireless application
protocol), I get emails that say, "WAP isn't dead!" Oddly, I
haven't said it is. Maybe I should.

Outside Japan, the killer app for wireless data on cell
phones this year will not be access to content. Instead, to
the extent that people will use wireless data, the driver
will be communication -- messaging. So forget WAP and pay
attention to SMS (short message service). Just as email is
bigger than the Web on PCs, SMS is much bigger than WAP on
cell phones. I've heard that 9 billion SMS messages were
sent in August 2000 alone.

SMS messages, by the way, are not free. So even at fractions
of a penny per message, the amount of content being
transmitted via SMS makes for a nice market.

The business here is to provide SMS services to those
companies -- portals and telcos -- that resell SMS messaging
to consumers. There are still only a few companies in this
space, like Quios, which already has portal customers
(Excite France, for one). Competitors include Iobox, Red
Message, and Myalert.

The current volume, and the growth, in SMS communication
almost guarantees a healthy and entertaining battle among
SMS infrastructure plays in 2001.

- Rafe Needleman,

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