Malaysia: Celcom may offer international SMS

Summary:Malaysian mobile telecommunications service provider Celcom Malaysia Sdn Bhd is conducting trials to bring an international short messaging service (SMS) to its subscribers, the company said.

SINGAPORE (In.Tech)--Malaysian mobile telecommunications service provider Celcom Malaysia Sdn Bhd is conducting trials to bring an international short messaging service (SMS) to its subscribers, the company said.

If successful, its subscribers would be able to send SMS messages to any of the 89 countries with which Celcom has roaming agreements, a company spokesman said at the CommunicAsia 2001 conference in Singapore last week.

SMS allows users to send messages of up to 160 characters to mobile phones that use Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) networks.

The company said it will also announce an “inter-operator” agreement with another Malaysian mobile service provider by the end of the month. This would allow Celcom subscribers to send SMS messages to subscribers of this rival network.

Company officials would not confirm if the agreement is with DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, sources close to DiGi have said the company was also expected to announce an inter-operator agreement soon.

Meanwhile, Celcom prepaid customers who believe they are missing out on the SMS frenzy will soon be able to send SMS messages via their prepaid cards.

Celcom is getting ready to launch an enhanced messaging service (EMS) in the fourth quarter that would enable users to attach pictures, animations, sound effects, ring tones and other types formatted text with their SMS messages.

Celcom is currently waiting for EMS-compatible handsets by Ericsson, Siemens, Alcatel, Motorola and others to be introduced to the Malaysian market, the spokesman said.

The company recently upgraded its SMS servers as part of an effort to boost the usage of SMS for both its postpaid and prepaid services.

Last week it announced it had selected British-based mobile messaging solutions supplier CMG Wireless Data Solutions to provide an “end-to-end” messaging solution that would increase Celcom’s capacity to handle larger volumes of SMS traffic.

The end-to end solution consists of CMG’s high-performance short messaging service centres (SMSCs) and a real-time prepaid billings system for SMS, and other business intelligence tools.

“Previously, Celcom had a low-performance delay of its SMS, sending approximately 40 messages within one second,’’ Steven Van Zanen, product manager of CMG Netherlands, told In.Tech at CommunicAsia, a regional telecommunications show.

“With the new SMSC in place, Celcom can deliver approximately 2,500 messages per second,” he added.

According to Van Zanen, Celcom subscribers can expect messages to be delivered within 10 seconds on average.

“We expect Celcom’s SMS traffic to grow exponentially to more than 10 times as much as last year,” he said.

Celcom has an active customer base of 1.75 million users as of March. About 60% uses its prepaid service, and of this, 30% subscribe to its SMS feature as well.

Topics: Malaysia

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