The Australian Communications and Media Authority has fined Nokia for sending spam-filled text messages to its customers. Nokia had been sending messages with tips on how customers could take advantage of their phones’ features, Reuters said Tuesday, but the government agreed Nokia should allow its customers to opt out of receiving the messages. “Some businesses are still not getting SMS marketing right,” Australian Communications and Media Authority chairman Richard Bean told Reuters. “The same rules apply to SMS marketing as for email marketing, and the same rules apply to all businesses, big and small.” More →
AT&T has dropped its requirement that all customers purchasing “quick messaging devices” — or QMDs for short – subscribe to an unlimited texting plan. According to Fierce Wireless, AT&T implemented the rule in January 2010 before quietly discontinuing it sometime in February of this year. The unlimited texting plan was priced at $20 per month, and while it’s no longer mandatory, AT&T does recommend that customers purchasing a messaging feature phone continue to sign up for an unlimited plan. AT&T’s portfolio of QMDs includes the Samsung Strive, LG VU Plus, Pantech Impact, and Samsung Solstice II, among others. AT&T subscribers can also opt for a cheaper $10 monthly plan that provides just 1,000 text messages per month. More →
In response to the tsunami and earthquake, Boost Mobile has announced that it’s joining other U.S. carriers in waiving fees for texts and calls to Japan. It will credit international fees for text messages and surcharges made for voice calls to Japan for a one-month period. Boost Mobile says its airtime rate of $0.10 per minute still applies for customers on its Pay As You Go Plan. Credits will be retroactive from March 11th and will be honored through April 11th, 2011. Hit the jump for the official statement. More →
Following on the heels of AT&T and Verizon Wireless today, MetroPCS has announced that its customers can send free text messages and place free phone calls to landlines in Japan. MetroPCS says the offer extends throughout the next 30 days, and that it will “support free calls to mobile numbers in Japan for a timeframe to be determined.” It’s unclear if that means calls to mobile numbers in Japan will be free for more than, or less than, 30 days. More →
Last week, we told you about a pesky SMS bug that has been plaguing some users of Google’s Android operating system. The issue in question, which Google asserts is quite rare, causes text messages to be sent to unintended or random recipients. In the company’s bug-tracking system, a response has been posted to those users filing complaints in hopes of a solution. Google writes:
Thanks to everyone for your patience while we’ve been investigating these reports. As it turns out, we believe there are two distinct situations being discussed on this issue chain. Fortunately, we have fixes for both of them.
When some users tap to open a message in the Messaging application, they’re seeing a different message appear instead. We don’t believe this issue is affecting many users, but we’ve developed a fix that we’re preparing to deploy. Of course, double-checking the displayed message before hitting “Send” will prevent any messages from being sent to the wrong recipients. We’ve found in testing this issue, it is more likely to occur if you tap on a message before the Messaging app is fully loaded, so we recommend waiting for all the elements to load before clicking on the message you want to display.
Separately, some users have reported that their SMS messages are being delivered to the wrong people. It took us some time to reproduce this issue, as it appears that it’s only occurring very rarely. Even so, we’ve now managed to both reproduce it and develop a fix that we will deploy.
While we don’t anticipate any persistent problems, we’ll continue to investigate in case we come up with additional ways to trigger these bugs. Thanks again for helping us improve Android.
No word on exactly when the fixes will be pushed out to handsets, but if you’re mobile is affected… know that help is on the way. More →
LG’s entry level messaging phone, the Neon, has landed at AT&T. Officially announced back in March, the QWERTY side slider is now available from AT&T for a mere $29 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a 2-year contract. The Neon packs the typical entry level fare including:
- GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/1800/1900 MHz
- 2.4-inch, 240×320 touchscreen display
- 2 megapixel camera
- Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
- 14MB on board memory, expandable up to 4GB via microSD
- Music ID, MEdiaNet, Mobile email support
- Weight: 3.81 ounces
- Size : 4.0 x 2.0 x 0.66 inches
Available in lime green, the Neon would make any non-discriminating, text messaging-happy tween quite happy. Moving along…
Call us crazy, but one of the worst things about sitting around all day writing about tech happens when we’re in the middle of posting a story, chatting to ninjas on AIM, firing off emails left, right and center and then BOOM — a flurry of text message arrives on our BlackBerrys, making us jump out of our seats, run over to our gadget charging station and check what all of the fuss is about. So can you imagine our relief the other day when we were wading through the insane amount of PR emails we get and found something from Cortado about a BlackBerry application called SMS2Desk. By way of a small application installed on your BlackBerry, SMS2Desk forwards all of your texts to an email address so you can read them and reply right on your computer. The best part is that SMS2Desk is totally free unless you feel like making a one-time payment of €4.98 ($6.27 USD) for a premium version that allows you to: send multiple texts from within one email, forward and save all texts to an email account of your choosing, limit your outgoing texts (useful if you don’t have an unlimited text plan) and receive email confirmations for each sent text. Excited as we are?
The next time you’re in London and witness something that isn’t quite right (perhaps a Chav stealing a bottle of Buckfast Tonic Wine at the local offie) don’t be shy – hit up the Metropolitan Police Service and report what you’re seeing via SMS. All you need to do is send your location, what you saw and your name to 07940 500 500. Okay, so the service was created with those who are hard of hearing or have a speech impediment in mind, but that’s not to say those without the aforementioned conditions can’t report a crime via SMS. You’d not only be doing your civic duty by reporting a crime in progress but you’d also be saving your precious talk time minutes.
[Via Phone Arena]
Verizon hit us up yesterday to let us know that what we reported the other day was just something being tossed around internally. It was not final. They’ve clarified their position on raising text messaging fees for content providers for us.
As Verizon Wireless continues to review the competitive marketplace, we constantly work to provide additional value to our customers, employees and other stakeholders.
We are currently assessing how to best address the changing messaging marketplace, and are communicating with messaging aggregators, our valued content partners, our technology business partners and, importantly, our friends in the non-profit and public policy arenas.
To that end, we recently notified text messaging aggregators – those for-profit companies that provide services to content providers to aggregate and bill for their text messaging programs - that we are exploring ways to offset significantly increased costs for delivering billions upon billions of text messages each month.
Specific information in one proposal, which would impose a small per-message fee on for-profit content aggregators for commercial messages, has been mistakenly characterized as a final decision to implement. We don’t envision this type of change to in any way affect non-profit organizations or political and advocacy organizations.
We have not increased the per-message cost to aggregators since our messaging service began in 2003, and we have never envisioned a cost to consumers or content companies, but rather on content aggregators themselves. That draft was intended to stimulate internal business discussions and in no way should have been been released to the public and represented as a final document.
At Verizon Wireless, we strive to provide our messaging customers with maximum value, and work to implement business decisions that encourage the use of messaging between individuals and organizations in both the marketplace of ideas and the commercial marketplace, and we will continue to strongly encourage the use of our services by charitable organizations as they perform their good works.
Couldn’t make it through all that? No problem, we will summarize it for you, “This document was not for the public. It was meant for internal business discussion in regards to content aggregators. (Think sports scores, constant text updates, etc.) This is only a proposal and not a final decision to implement. We secretly love BGR.” Hey, maybe they forgot about that leaked Storm thing already…
In a move sure to rock the wireless industry, Verizon Wireless announced yesterday that they will start charging content and messaging companies a fee for sending text messages to Verizon Wireless customers. Beginning November 1st, Verizon will charge a 3 cent per message fee for each Mobile Terminated message processed by its network. This fee will be levied on top of the current MT messaging fees (usually a fraction of a cent) already paid by companies. Talk about stifling a booming industry. These new fees will affect a whole range of text messaging services, including search results (Google), sports updates (ESPN), news alerts (CNN), auction alerts (eBay), bank account balance alerts, credit card transaction alerts, and any other company or service that want to use text messaging alerts as a value added service for their customers. Verizon claims the new fee is necessary to cover their overhead in delivering these MT messages. Sounds more like Verizon has found the ultimate cash cow and is looking to “double dip” even further. We can only hope this new practice is met with widespread rebellion and not with widespread adoption by other wireless carriers. Heck, we were even looking at doing SMS updates for BGR. Anyone interested in that?