New SMS Application Launched, Malaysia Among Target

Source: Bernama | View Online Article

SINGAPORE, 26 June 2007: Affle, a mobile phone media innovation company, today unveiled a new platform which it claims will revolutionise the way mobile phone users use the short messaging service or SMS.

Called SMS2.0, it comes with enhanced features, content, promotions and a search facility.

“SMS2.0 redefines the second ‘S’ in SMS, it is now Short Message and Search,” Affle chairman and chief executive officer Anuj Khanna said at the global launch of the product here.

He told Bernama later that Affle is working with mobile operators in Malaysia to launch the product in the country.

“We are talking with Celcom, we have signed a memorandum of understanding with them but no definite launch target has been defined yet.

“We are also working with DiGi and Maxis but those are proposals in the pipeline. I wouldn’t say when this will happen. We are working actively with everybody, we’ll see who goes first,” he said, adding that the product could be launched in Malaysia in the next quarter.

Khanna said users will be able to send and receive text messages as in the “old” SMS, but in the SMS2.0, a banner with contents such as news, information as well as promotions and advertisements tailored to the users’ interest will appear at the bottom of the message window.

Users will have the option of scrolling through these if they want to.

“They won’t be charged for the SMS2.0 application. Only selected content will be chargeable but this will be made explicit to users,” the company said.

SMS2.0 can also be used to search for information using search engines like Google and Yahoo as well as services like dictionary, movies and Wikipedia.

The British-based company also revealed plans to market SMS2.0 across Asia with the help of global media company and strategic partner GroupM.

Affle hopes to bring SMS2.0 to 10 countries in the next two years, kicking off with launches in Singapore and India today.

Besides Malaysia, it will also be launched in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

“Affle’s vision is to have mobile phone users around the world make a complete switch from SMS to SMS2.0. With significant consumer adoption, SMS2.0 will make media truly mobile,” said Khanna.

At the moment, SMS2.0 is only compatible with Nokia smartphones. In Singapore, the service is available to mobile operator M1 customers and in India with Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telco.

Source: Bernama | View Online Article