Delays to airways auctions means good news for SMS service providers

According to an article published in the Sunday Times on the 29th January, Apple sold more than 37 million iPhones and 15 million iPads between October and December 2011, resulting in a 73% sales increase in its quarterly revenues.

While our love affair with Smartphone technology continues to grow, Ofcom, paradoxically have seen fit to delay the auctioning of the UK’s airwaves yet again. The first phase, which was due to take place in early 2012, has now been delayed until the last quarter.

The Government has stated that it wants the UK to have the most powerful mobile network in Europe by 2015 but rivalries between the four main providers means we are falling further and further behind our European counterparts when it comes to 4G technology.

While this rivalry continues and Ofcom continues to move the goal posts, SMS will continue to play an important role in overall mobile marketing strategies because we simply cannot rely on the existing network to deliver the download speeds needed for innovative new services. Poor coverage and latency issues result in consumers becoming bored and not bothering to press buttons to get more information because the delays are too long.

SMS on the other hand does not present these types of problems because it pushes itself directly in front of consumers. It has its limitations and is not as pretty or flashy as Internet-based services, but if companies get their messaging right, they can quickly communicate information to their customers without them needing to do anything other than read the text.

At least with SMS you know your message will reach your target audience.

Below are other reasons why SMS still continues to play an important part in overall marcomms
strategies:

  • It’s cheap – both for the provider, who can purchase SMS messages in bulk and for the consumer, who can send and receive a predefined numbers of messages as part of their contract
  • It’s quick –messages are delivered almost instantaneously
  • It has a wide marketing reach – all phones support SMS
  • Is not reliant on 3G networks so marketers are not reliant on good network coverage
  • It provides an easy response mechanism – for spontaneous decisions and impulse purchases
  • It is easy to monitor – so campaigns can be targeted
  • It integrates seamlessly – with e/marketing activities
  • It’s widely understood – by everyone
  • It provides a positive experience because messages can always be delivered

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