Text messaging to be launched July 15

Stabroek News
July 7, 2003

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Following approval by the Public Utilities Commission, GT&T will launch its Voicemail and Short Messaging Service (SMS) on July 15.

The commission approved the phone company’s application for rates for provision of the premium services with significant modification.

Through SMS, short messages can be sent to and from mobile phones in near real time, by using the number pad as a keyboard. Words are compressed to make the process faster.

According to a GT&T press release SMS will be an attraction to the technology smart younger generation who use the pre-paid service and who adapt quickly to the use of keypads and e-mail addresses.

“With the SMS, the handset becomes an extension of the personal computer which the young are so comfortable with,” allowing messages to be sent to other mobile handsets or e-mail addresses.

Charges to customers for the service will be at a per message rate and will be offered to both landline and cellular users.

The mobile voicemail operates in an identical manner to the wire line system with the calling party being directed to the customer’s voicemail box after a specified number of rings.

However while recognising that mobile communications are the future, GT&T is assuring landline customers that any expansion and modernisation of the cellular service will not affect the further development of that system.

GT&T said that despite the uneconomic rates, the company continues to roll out landline services around the city and other rural communities including remote areas.