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Get the message?

The mobile phone has become an unavoidable symbol of the times in which we live and the convergence of technologies has meant a versatility that we haven't been able to appreciate before. Now Deltica provides Internet to mobile services to businesses, allowing them to send SMS messages from their websites.

New innovations in wireless gadgetry are now capable of keeping you in touch with anyone in the world at any time. What with the Shaky ground on which the WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) service is standing, Short Messaging Services (SMS) are basking in the limelight. Text messaging has become an integral part of our daily communication, with a growing number of Web-based services springing up to offer mobile users everything from news alerts to the option of sending SMS messages for free.

"The unique thing about us is that you can set up a text messaging service instantly," explains Kay Leedham-Green at Deltica SMS services, a major provider of Internet-to-mobile services. "The most common use of our service is for companies wanting to set up free text messaging from their website. Its an incredibly effective way of attracting people to your site, especially the kind of Internet savvy, mobile phone owners as well as being a very cheap form of advertising as your company name and website can be tagged to every message."

Brian Scudder, promoter of the Fire Island club nights in Dubai, is just one of Deltica's happy customers. "Beyond the usual medium of printing flyers and distributing them, I do an SMS broadcast, usually two weeks before the even, building up to the night itself," said Scudder. "An SMS message advertising our club night that is sent directly to phones from our list of numbers on our database, is the cheapest and most direct piece of marketing I have ever come across."

But in the case of bulk SMS advertising, it is all a matter of building an adequate database of numbers from which to shoot your message out from. There has yet been a way to discern whether or not your audience is happy with the service. "The main problem at the moment is knowing who likes it and who doesn't. I understand Deltica are developing a new interactive system that will allow you me to ask questions like, 'do you want to continue receiving warnings that a Fire Island is imminent?' and then get the answers," added Scudder. "It might well be a useful form of quality control, in terms of what they liked or disliked about our nights."

"We have a very strong presence in the Middle East," added Leedham-Green, "especially since initiating the Unicode Support, this means that you will be able to send messages using non-Latin character sets including Arabic."

"We don't ask for you to sign a contract, we don't do a credit check, we don't even need to know who you are. How it works is by you buying message credits with a credit card and these are activated in about 30 seconds. There are no set-up fees and your message credits never expire. There's no salesman and the interfaces are incredibly easy to use."

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