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SMS receives a makeover

Mobile advertising in Singapore gets a shot in the arm, thanks to a new spruced-up version of the popular text messaging platform from Mobile One and U.K.-based Affle.
Written by Lynn Tan @ Redhat, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Local operator Mobile One (M1) and U.K.-based mobile application solutions provider Affle launched Tuesday a new mobile text messaging platform that marketers can use for targeted advertising.

Dubbed SMS2.0 (short messaging and search, version 2.0), the application is a spruced-up version of the default text messaging platform SMS (short message service).

Aside from the typical text messaging feature, the new platform has enhanced messaging features, such as MMS (multimedia messaging service), IM (instant messaging) as well as SMS-to-e-mail graphic and multimedia attachments. It also includes interactive messaging features, such as Internet search, and is compatible with the typical SMS platform.

SMS2.0 currently runs only on the Symbian operating system and is compatible only with Nokia N70, N72, 6680, 6681 and 6630 handsets, according to Affle.

Anuj Khanna, CEO of Affle, said that pilot tests of SMS2.0 have been held in Singapore and India since 2006, and results show that users were more likely to explore onscreen content and advertisements using SMS2.0, compared to existing mobile content services.

In Asia, SMS2.0 has been deployed in India by its largest telco Bharti Airtel, said Khanna. Bharti Airtel found from the pilot test that users were "actively clicking through" content delivered via the new platform.

Affle plans to introduce SMS2.0 in other countries in the region by 2009, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, China, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

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