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Are You Ready for the Oncoming Text Messaging Revolution?

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Are You Ready for the Oncoming Text Messaging Revolution?

February 04, 2019
By Bill Yates
Communications Correspondent

After years where the business remained static, text messaging is poised to make a bigger impact on the electronics comunications world.

Brad Blanken, vice president of strategic alliances at text-messaging firm Bandwith, spoke about the state of the industry at the Communications Application track of the ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale yesterday.

Blanken began his discussion by outlining the history of text communications. The first text message, delivered in 1992, was “Merry Christmas.” Now more than 6.5 trillion texts are exchanged each day.

The turning point was the development of an integrated transmission platform by carriers in 2001. With a few months of that development, more than 30,000 text messages were taking place. Blanken says the industry is poised for another shift.

“We’re headed into an unprecedented period where we’re going to see a bunch of changes” in the text-messaging business, he says. Among the new challenges are:

  • Fees are going to rise;
  • Alerts are going to be regulated;
  • Privacy compliance will become more difficult.

A2P messaging for local numbers will become “productized,” he says. Old techniques, such as “snowshoeing,” will experience higher costs. And new regulations will prevent most spamming tactics from achieving success.

Short-code solutions, which are the largest source of spam for network operators are disappearing, are being replaced by long-code solutions. The use of local numbers as message identifiers is now the standard, Blanken says.

The deployment of rich communications services (RCH), an Android (News - Alert) feature where messages can contain more than just text, continues to expand.

The use of RCH could cause people to shy away from using apps to communicate with places like hotels and restaurants. Instead, you sign up for the RCH services offered by the business. “I look at this as an app killer,” Blanken says.

Increased regulation is another issue. Blanken says measures to regulate text messages like phone calls, which would have raised a host of compliance issues, was recently rejected by federal regulators.

“Should text messages, which are unregulated, be treated like phone calls?,” Blanken asks. While he agrees with regulators that texts are different than calls, the issue remains extremely unsettled, he says.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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