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Guardian Unlimited to offer SMS service at a price

It's a costly business after all...
Written by Sally Watson, Contributor

It's a costly business after all...

Guardian Unlimited, the online offshoot of The Guardian, has taken its first steps into the murky waters of pay-services by launching SMS updates for readers. Orange, Vodafone and mmo2 (BT Cellnet) users will be charged for updates on the site's most popular topics which are football, media, news and politics. Developed with Wireless Information Network, users will be charged on their phone bills up to 25p for each alert. The premium rate wireless specialist also works with Arsenal FC, Channel 4, FT.com and ITV Football. Chris Moisan, channel manager at Guardian Unlimited, told silicon.com in October that the market was ready for charges. "People have realised it's a costly business to create content. Many [smaller competitors] have pulled back, leaving room for the true content brands," he said at the time. Guardian Unlimited ran a text message poetry competition last year, attracting over 8,000 entrants, proof, Moisan claimed, of the market for text messaging. "There's an appetite there. The payment mechanism is very simple and the set-up costs are low," he said.
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