San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Mobile-originated (or two-way) SMS is a hit overseas but is only now coming to U.S. consumers.
Earlier this year, VoiceStream launched two-way short messaging services, noting that it expects the service to be even more popular than its one-way service, which daily delivered a million text messages to subscribers' handsets.
In recent weeks, AT&T Wireless became the first major U.S. TDMA carrier to offer mobile-originated SMS, and Sprint PCS launched an AOL e-mail and instant-messaging service that lets AOL subscribers access their AOL e-mail, and respond, via any microbrowser-equipped Sprint phone.
Meanwhile, mobile-originated SMS has been included in new CDMA phones in the expectation that CDMA carriers will launch two-way service later this year.
CDMA phones with the feature were introduced at September's PCIA GlobalXChange convention by Audiovox, Kyocera, Motorola and NeoPoint. The feature is available in all three new Kyocera phones (the 2035 and 3035, and the new Palm-based phone), in both new NeoPoint smart phones, and in four new Audiovox models.
AT&T's two-way SMS service is accessible through the Nokia 5150i, 6160m, 6162m and 8260 phones and on Motorola's V-dot series 2397 TDMA phone, which AT&T will offer before the holidays.
AT&T's two-way service is free from AT&T through Feb. 21. After that, the charge is $4.99 per month for up to 500 incoming and outgoing messages. The other option is 10 cents per message sent from the phone. Up to 250 incoming messages are free.