Frontier Communications Corporation is launching a text messaging feature for business voice accounts that allows business fixed network numbers to support text messaging.
Frontier Texting is enabled by Zipwhip, a firm enabling text messaging for landline phone accounts. "Zipwhip's vision has always been that every phone number should be textable," said John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip. "While 330 million U.S. mobile numbers are text enabled, 200 million fixed line numbers are not.
With Frontier Texting, Frontier customers can text, or receive a text from, a business' existing landline or toll free number.
The message is then pushed at the same time to the business' Internet-connected devices, such as a laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet.
A business user can then reply back from whatever device they're on, using Frontier Texting.
Frontier Texting powered by Zipwhip launches July 1, 2014 for every small office, home office and small and medium business served by Frontier.
Response times for text messages average 90 seconds, while email response times are about 2.5 days, according to Zipwhip.
The launch of Frontier Texting is one example of a service provider strategy for a mature and declining product, namely “adding more value” by enhancing the core functionality in some customer-significant way.
Making texting a feature of a business telephone number is one clear example. High-definition voice is another similar example of changing the product to enhance its value.
Whether such techniques can do much more than slow the rate of decline is the issue. Service providers hope high-definition voice, or adding text messaging to landlines can at least stem the rate of decline for fixed network or mobile voice.
The issue is producing evidence that this sort of product reinvention is possible.
Clearly, the industry has managed to replace revenues from some declining products with new revenues from some new products. What the industry has yet to prove is that it actually can enhance legacy products enough to reverse losses.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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