Telstra has launched a service that allows customers to send and receive SMS messages using a home phone.
The new service allows home phone users to read and send text messages on their landlines using specially designed telephones in the same way they do with mobile phones.
Telstra's head of consumer marketing Jenny Young, said they are expecting the new home text messaging service to provide an "important bridge between text savvy mobile phone users and the home phone market".
"Text messaging is already extraordinarily popular in Australia with more than 100 million SMS sent by Telstra customers each month. We anticipate that having text messaging available on the home phone will trigger a new wave of text messaging popularity, particularly among mums, dads and grandparents," Young said.
Telstra customers with a compatible service and an SMS-enabled home phone can use their keypad to send text messages just as they would to send text on a mobile phone.
To send text messages to a home phone, users simply type the message, key in the full 10-digit fixed phone number including the area code without spaces and press send.
Reading a text message on one of the new telephones is identical to reading a text message on a mobile phone. Homes without a new SMS-enabled phone can receive SMS using Telstra's Talking Text service that was launched in 2004. The technology converts text messages into speech that is relayed to the person answering the home phone.
Young said the new landline text messaging follows the roll-out of hundreds of SMS-enabled public payphones across Australia.
SMS-enabled phones are priced from AU$129.95 from Telstra Shops and are also available at other retailers. Telstra home phone customers will pay no additional monthly fee for access to the text messaging service. SMS will cost 25 cents each to send from the home phone.
Text messaging on home phones is currently exclusive to Telstra, and customers of Telstra resellers. Other operators are expected to follow and introduce the service later in the year.