RealTime IT News

Priceline Asia Sends Out an SMS

Hutchison-Priceline in Hong Kong is sending out an SMS via a partner deal with Hutchison Telecommunications in Hong Kong that will roll out a promotion for the name-your-own-price travel model to Orange SMS users.

The deal is said to be one of the first major forays into SMS marketing by a non-telecommunications company in Hong Kong. SMS means Short Message Service, a system for sending short text messages to mobile phones.

"Every mobile screen in Hong Kong is a marketing billboard,' said Hutchison-Priceline CEO Alfredo Gangotena. "Thanks to Hutchison Telecom, Priceline can now reach out to mobile subscribers via a particularly smart medium."

And a medium that is getting smarter, or at least capable of delivering more, as the next wave of technology, MMS, elbows its way in.

The Hong Kong SMS deal is a promo via an interactive game for cell phone users, but it is serving as a test for a planned e-commerce roll-out via the service.

Hutchison-Priceline said the SMS game complements other recent Priceline initiatives designed to broaden the online travel service's reach to Asian travelers. These include co-branded Internet sites throughout the region with Yahoo! and a presence in retail stores such as Park'N Shop, Watson's and Fortress.

Hutchison-Priceline Travel is an independent company formed with investments from Hutchison Whampoa, a Hong Kong-based multinational conglomerate with operations in 36 countries, and Norwalk, Ct.-based Priceline.com.