Roberto Verzola on 15 Nov 2000 03:50:39 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> cell/mobile phones

 >authoritatively, but it would seem as tho he has missed the point. mobile
 >cellular telecommunications devices aren’t searching for the killer app to
 >‘unleash a multi-billion dollar global industry’. the killer app - voice
 >communication, aka conversation - is already here, and the mutli-billion

In the Philippines, the killer app is "texting" - exchanging text
messages over the cellphone (the term we use here). We send over 30
million text messages a day in the Philippines. It is said that this
is higher than entire Europe's. This is what drives the local market -
everywhere you can see young people with their mobiles, on the move,
and texting - it is more private and less intrusive than voice too.

This may be explained by the fact that voice is *very expensive* via
cellphone, particularly prepaid ones: around 16 US cents per minute,
computed in 1-min. increments, while text messages are free or 2 US
cents per message after you exceed a maximum number.

I can even imagine a service, which ought to be viable here, that
provides *only* text messaging and no voice. Many prepaid users use up
their balance purely for text, not voice. I'm sure the one-time and
recurring costs for such a service will be significantly lower than a
text-with-voice service. Because you don't have to stick the device
close to your ear (and brain), it will probably be less harmful too.

Roberto Verzola

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