Airtel and Affle launch SMS2.0, the Worlds First Upgrade to SMS

Source: News Agency of Kashmir | View Online Article

New Delhi/Jammu, Dec 30 (NAK): Airtel and Affle today announced the launch of SMS2.0 – the world’s first upgrade to SMS. Airtel is the first in India to offer this innovative service to its 55 million customers.

As per the press release issued here today, SMS2.0 enables an interactive and non-intrusive platform on the mobile phone that allows Airtel users to discover a host of relevant content services along with enhanced messaging features.

“SMS2.0 is unique as it has leveraged the popularity of SMS, and has converged messaging, content, and contextual advertising into one seamless application, which resides as the default SMS application on the customer’s mobile handset”, release said.

Commenting on the launch of SMS 2.0, Mr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Mobile Services, Airtel, said, “Trends indicate that youth and young professionals are more active users of messaging. SMS2.0 represents a huge opportunity for Airtel to differentiate itself and further gain both mind-share & market-share in these segments. This service will open up an entirely new set of options that will enrich the messaging experience of our customers. Our endevour will be to continue to deliver new innovative services that not only simplify the communication experience of all Airtel users but also add more value to them.”

The message personalization options include additional features like composing & sending messages with a variety of text & background colours and interesting emoticons. The content experience is driven around leveraging the eyeball assured nature of SMS, and delivering user relevant content (like News, Jokes, Movie updates, Cricket, Astrology etc.) which is seamlessly integrated into the messaging experience.

The SMS2.0 application is a ‘Free Upgrade’ to the regular SMS application. To download SMS2.0, the Airtel customer simply sends “SMS2” to 543210. There is no charge for downloading and for subsequent content delivery on this platform; the SMS charges remain unchanged and according to the existing mobile plan.

Anuj Kumar, Executive Director (South Asia) Affle, says, “India is a very exciting mobile market and in Airtel we have found a great partner to take our services to users. We are confident that SMS2.0 would redefine the messaging experience for a large set of users and become their entry window to the world of Mobile Internet. We have already seen a very positive response from users, for the value features and the rich non-intrusive content, and expect to grow it substantially during this launch. We are very confident that given Airtel’s significant marketing efforts, this service would soon be accessible to a huge mass of users”

Affle, the inventor of this technology has invested significant R&D efforts to ensure that this application adds huge value to users. This has been validated by the positive user feedback during the SMS2.0 pilot in Delhi and NCR which started in June 2007.

Some of the salient features of SMS2.0 include

Enhanced Features – The SMS2.0 upgrade provides enhanced messaging features to the user, leading to greater personalization for the SMS window, e.g. variety of text colours, background colours, fun emoticons etc.

Contextual Content – SMS2.0 serves free content to the user, contextual to the interest areas selected by him. This content is served as a small teaser on the Message Compose/Read window, and a Full Screen, which appears along with the Message Sent/Sending Window.

Ease of Discovery – The SMS2.0 application resides as a default SMS application, and thus is very easy for the user to discover without any additional training

Free for Users – SMS2.0 offers a better-upgraded SMS experience to users, at the cost of their regular SMS. Thus SMSing is now more trendy, fun and informative and costs just the same.(NAK)