Wireless Messaging Services

from the apples-and-oranges dept

This week we’re seeing AT&T and Sprint each announce 2-way wireless messaging services. AT&T was out the door first with its Text Messaging Service. Sprint is launching access to a Wireless Web version of AOL Instant Messenger on Thursday (10/19). I’m usually impressed with SprintPCS’s aggressive roll out of new features and great prices. But looking at these two services, the AT&T service is far superior IMHO. AT&T’s service is basically the same SMS service GSM carriers have been offering for years. User can send messages to other AT&T users or to any email address. Basically users can use their phones as two-pagers. In comparision the Sprint AOL service only lets users contact AOL Instant Messenger user and they pay per minute of connection to the wireless web. With AT&T you pay per message, not how long it takes you to type the message and wait for a reply. I don’t think a wireless version of AIM will be compelling until packet services like GPRS launch or they are seamlessly integrated with SMS services. Until that time, I envy my collegues with their tiny Nokia 8260s and SMS.

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