Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thai Telcos could create a use for that SMS pipe

One of the weirdnesses of Thailand mobile patterns is the skewed use of SMS.

I don't know for sure but based on the calls I receive and how I watch people using their handset SMS is not as widely used as in the UK or Europe.

Why? two basic reasons

  1. The language itself; 44 consonants and 32 vowels
Hello: สวัสดี
SMS on a normal handset: 9 -> 8 (5 times) -> *(select a vowel) -> 9 -> 1(4 times) -> *(select a vowel) this is then 14 key presses to write hello

2. The people; Thais are very person centric and as such they would much rather speak to someone than conduct a conversation through remote control. IVR and CTI is used in Thailand but most people tend to go to "speak to a CSR" option as they want to have that one-to-one with a person and not a machine.

So the operators (DTAC, TrueMove fka Orange, AIS) have a lot of spare SMS capactity that they're not gettting revenue for.

DTAC have starting using a combination of PushMail and SMS as a work force managment aide.

Martin Geddes
of Telepocalypse has posted a possible revenue generating use for this SMS pipe that could become big if used the right way. It's an extension of the SMS voting that we see for Academy Fantasia and Big Brother.

The current crisis in Thailands North after the flash floods killed and injured, destroyed property and infrastructure have resulted in the usual outpouring of 'nam jai' where those who have freely donate to those who now don't. The items are all graetly received but cash is still king. Something like the buy a brick campaign could help a lot and the payment mechanism is already here.

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