Leading Mobile Community Reduces Global SMS Costs to Users

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playtxt, the worldwide location based mobile social network, has further reduced the cost of SMS messaging for its users.

It has always been playtxt's stated intention to offer as many services free to users as possible; however the high demand for global SMS messaging forced the company to charge for SMS message sent after a certain number of free messages per month. "We couldn't cope with demand," explained playtxt CEO, Andrew Scott. "Text messaging use is still increasing in virtually every country worldwide but while costs have gone down for many users texting to other users who have the same mobile network operator, or in the same country, messaging to users across country boundaries has been going up," he explained.

playtxt provides web to SMS messaging services, as part of a large selection of advanced functionality available via free membership of its location based mobile community. They also support SMS for access to the playtxt friends network service itself, for users who don't have Java enabled devices or cell phone tariffs' that support data. Andrew believes that text messaging is still an important part of offering mobile services, despite the growth of exciting and more flexible technologies, such as on-handset Java application; "SMS has been important to our successful growth, because Java enabled phones still represent a minority worldwide. Providing users with SMS functionality to interface with our service and allowing web to SMS communication free (or for heavy users very cheaply) to other members in other countries, has meant we are attractive to users in countries where mobile data tariffs are prohibitively expensive, or are not available at all."

The cost reduction from 0.10 GBP (around $0.14 USD) to just 0.07GBP (around $0.10 cents) is particularly significant to users countries with lower disposable incomes, but perhaps less so to places forging ahead with 3G and other advanced data services, or with more progressive consumer mobile network offerings. "Yes it's probably true that news of a lowering in SMS costs is less relevant to many users in the UK, USA, Germany and Italy etc because those users often have many included texts in their monthly bundles, or they have access to GPRS or 3G data connections so can use our Java mobile instant messenger, but these users can still be surprisingly price sensitive, especially as texting another country from your own can cost up to five or 10 times the regular amount on some tariffs, and it is often difficult to find out exactly what you will be charged, even if you try! Our free SMS service, and our new even lower priced flat rate cost, if you use up your free monthly allocation, removes the fear of high charging, or on some networks, an inability to message to another network at all," explained Andrew.

Andrew went on to hint at future service improvements due in 2007. "We've got a whole bunch of interesting stuff we'll be releasing in Q1 2007, including improvements to our existing mobile advertising services, which until now we've used in a very limited capacity. These changes will allow us to give more to users free of charge as well as accelerate our R&D program and release other new services to our growing base of users worldwide."

playtxt® is a new breed of online community. It is global, it is location based and it is mobile. Who What Anywhere is a mantra for enabling users to interactive more easily with their circle of friends while receiving contextual information and content on their mobile phone, across the world. Having integrated the latest technologies with those that are proven and have mass acceptance, playtxt maximises reach across different channels -- web, SMS, WAP, mobile Java (J2ME) delivering cross-platform location based messaging services which inform the user who's around and what's going on nearby, anywhere.


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