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a boss. An additional advantage is that of instant access or 'always-on'; here there is no need to dial up a wireless connection. Table 3.2 provides a summary of the mobile or wireless Internet access proposition. There are considerable advantages in comparison to PC-based Internet access, but it is currently limited by the display limitations such as small screen size and limited graphics.

Technology convergence

Technology convergence is an important phenomenon as digital marketers consider how they can evolve their propositions for consumers. As you know, today a mobile phone is not just a phone, it is likely also a text messaging system, music playing system, e-mail reading platform, camera, personal organiser, Internet access device and Global Positioning System (GPS). Of course, just because a technology is possible does not mean it is widely used. So, for marketers, it is important to assess new technologies and support them once they reach critical mass, or if there is a niche which can be exploited. For example, Mintel reported in 2005 that the downloadable content for ringtones and games is now a $1 billion market in the UK. Many users now use phones or PDAs for accessing e-mails, so it is important that marketers ensure their messages are received on these devices.

SMS messaging

In addition to offering voice calls and data transfer, mobile phones have increasingly been used for e-mail and Short Message Service (SMS), commonly known as 'texting' (Figure 3.7). SMS is, of course, a simple form of e-mail that enables messages to be transferred between mobile phones.

Texting has proved useful for business in some niche applications. For example, banks now notify customers when they approach an overdraft and provide weekly statements using SMS. Text has also been used by consumer brands to market their products, particularly to a younger audience as the case studies at text agency Flytxt (www.flytxt.com) and Text.It, the organisation promoting text messaging (www.text.it), show. Texting can also be used in supply chain management applications for notifying managers of problems or deliveries.

Technology convergence

A trend in which different hardware devices such as TVs, computers and phones merge and have similar functions.

Short Message Service (SMS)

The formal name for text messaging.

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