Tag Archives: text

Talk is cheapest now

by Malou Liwanag-Aguilar/AJPress
It is a fact that the way we communicate with the rest of the world has been dramatically changed since the invention of the Internet.

In the past, getting the message through was a struggle, especially when we were entirely dependent on postal mail, a.k.a., snail mail.  Also, gone are the days of expensive phone calls, again, thanks to the Internet.  Aside from the usual voice chats or conversations, the introduction of the Voice over Internet Protocols (VOIP) has given people the chance to keep in touch on the cheap.

Saying ‘hello’ over the Net

Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP or Broadband phone service as it is often referred to, has changed the telephony world.  It has slowly phased out traditional phone lines as businesses and households around the world embrace the benefits.

The technology started as far back as 1995, when a small company called Vocatec released what was believed to be the first Internet phone software.  Designed to run on a home PC, it was simply called “Internet Phone.”  It had initial success, but the lack of broadband availability in 1995 resulted in poor voice quality when compared to a normal telephone call.  By 1998 however, VoIP traffic had grown approximately 1% of all voice traffic in the US.  Businesses were jumping on the bandwagon and started to create devices to enable PC-to-phone and phone-to-phone communication work.  By the year 2000, VoIP traffic accounted for more than 3 percent of all voice traffic.

By 2005, all major voice quality issues have been addressed and the system was able to ensure reliable, clear sounding and unbroken calls.  It is forecasted that revenue from VoIP equipment will be over $8.5 billion by the end of 2008, driven primarily by low cost unlimited calling plans and the abundance of enhanced and useful telephony features associated with the technology.

Snail mail vs e-mail

It has been a longstanding debate – which is better, snail mail or e-mail?  However, in a survey conducted by the International Communications Research (ICR), it was a mixture of results.  Although the survey concluded that respondents overwhelmingly prefer promotional messages via snail mail, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are persuaded by them.

Electronic mail, or e-mail is a natural use of networked communication technology that developed along with the evolution of the Internet.  It was, in fact, already in use in the early 1960s, developed for the ARPANET shortly after its creation.  It has now evolved tremendously into the powerful e-mail technology, a widely used technology on the Internet today.

E-mail provides a way to exchange information between two or more people with no set-up costs or less paperwork.  It is also a convenient way to send the same message to multiple addressees, with a swift click of the ‘send’ button.

A number of people however still see the e-mail as ‘too impersonal’ or business-like.  This is probably because handwriting a letter, putting it in an envelope and actually mailing it out, takes more effort, thus the personalized touch.  Still, the advantage of time and cost overthrows the reasoning, making the e-mail an essential part of our lives – business or personal.

(www.asianjournal.com)

Leave a comment

Filed under Feature

Getng d msg acros thru txtng: Pinoys send 1 billion text messages

by Malou Liwanag-Aguilar/AJPress
If you can’t understand the title, then probably you’re not one of the hundreds of millions of “texters.”
If you can’t understand the title, then probably you’re not one of the hundreds of millions of “texters.”

Back in the 1990s, I had my first mobile phone.  It was a heavy piece of contraption that can only support phone calls.  Years later, SMS, or text messaging was introduced and since then, the mobile communication industry has never looked back.

Recently, industry data showed that Filipinos doubled the number of text messages they sent last year to an average of 1 billion daily, from a subscriber base of just 50 million.  This was a staggering number, which showed how prolific text messaging is to the Philippines.

Text capital of the world

In 2005, the Philippines achieved the distinction of being the “SMS capital of the world.”  That year, Filipinos sent an average of 250 million text messages a day, according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Nobody in the industry probably saw text messaging to fly off in this magnitude.  Much of it at the start was seen as a craze, a cultural trend that mostly tapped young people.  But as technology moved, so did texting.  What was once considered as popularity is now somehow a necessity.

Sending messages does not require making a call.  Just by typing in a message and the recipient’s phone number, then sending it, the message goes to the operator’s message center, and finally forwards it to the recipient.

The art of text messaging

The art of texting is at the start, quite a challenge.  For a beginner, it is an irritating skill to master, because of the idea of putting in all 26 letters of the alphabet (plus punctuation and other symbols) are all combined with only ten buttons.  But in time and with a lot of practice, one will get used to it, as most texters now can type in messages in a matter of seconds.

Also, people have developed a shorthand, or their own set of vocabulary words, somewhat similar to what is used in Internet chat rooms.  “WRU” is a three-letter acronym for “Where are you,” or “C U LTR” is “See you later.”

More than just messages

Much has been studied and researched about the text wave in the Philippines, and was found out that texting has become so popular because of a number of factors.  One is affordability.  At about 2 cents a message, the price is right for the cash-strapped youth.

Two of the biggest mobile service providers in the country – Globe and Smart – also have a lock on the market, which reaches to more than 40 million subscribers.  Aside from this, both networks have distinct marketing and promotions to offer more affordable and innovative products and services, including cheaper phone units, pre-paid and post-paid lines and features like mobile banking and payments services. It also has set up conveniences like texting friends and relatives anywhere in the world, at a lower rate.

Just to do the math, the cost of one text message sent is about P 1, if sent to someone with the same carrier.  Times that to 1 billion, multiply again with 365 days in a year, it amounts to P 365 billion, or $8.2 billion (based on a P44 exchange rate).  That’s about more than 50 percent of the OFW remittances expected this year.

Truly texting has become a vehicle to more than just plain message sending to friends, family or colleagues.  It has been a carrier of gossip, political campaigns, and was even credited with helping overthrow a government and a president.

There is no doubt that text messaging will continue in the next years.  If innovation and technology steps up with something different, better and affordable, then maybe a little dip in the numbers will be seen.  Still, until that time comes, texting is here to stay.  (www.asianjournal.com)

Leave a comment

Filed under Feature, Homeland