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RealTime IT News

SMS Solution Aimed at Overseas Businesses

Overseas businesses are being offered Short Messaging Service (SMS)technology via Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) phones -- ironically by a company based in the home state of Congressman Rush Holt (NJ-D), who is spearheading the latest anti-spam crusade on Capitol Hill.

The Xpedite Broadcast Service -- which allows the relay of email text pages -- was launched Wednesday by Xpedite, an Eatontown, N.J.-based business unit of Ptek Holdings .

The announcement comes amid legislation, which was introduced by the congressman earlier this year, making it illegal to send unsolicited text messages to cellphones unless the user has given prior consent. The Holt bill is currently in committee.

To its defense, Xpedite claims that it is very sensitive to the issue of spam. For this reason, the company is targeting businesses rather than the consumer market. The service is offered exclusively to businesses in Europe and Asia.

"We take spam very seriously and we have developed strong policies to combat it," according to Marion Bartholomew, a spokesperson for Xpedite. "All of the relayed SMS message have to originate from a customer in our network. Messages cannot come from an outside solicitor. Further, we insist that our clients use and honor opt-in mail lists. If we think a customer is sending Spam, we will cut off his service immediately."

SMS is used by millions of cell phone owners, who are increasingly finding themselves bombarded with spam as a result. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the problem, in part, is that the account numbers for SMS phones are easy to identify.

Registered users can access the service via existing access methods, including the SMS Broadcast Web page, ftp access, PC-Xpedite software or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

Features of the service include the ability to upload any list of GSM phone numbers and a corresponding short-text message for distribution.

"Messages can be sent immediately or delayed," Bartholomew said. "After the messages have been sent, a detailed transmission report is available to the customer in a choice of formats. No peripheral or services or additional software is needed.

"Additionally, we cut across provider issues," she said. "No matter what provider is used by the customer, the messages are accessible by all. In the U.S., for example, a Verizon phone be accessed through the Verizon Web site. With this service, we eliminate that and customers are able to dial directly."



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