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AT&T Wireless Offers Volume Texting

Companies can now send large numbers of text messages to employees or even customers -- as long as both they and the recipients are buyers of AT&T Wireless services.

The wireless spin-off from the once-mighty telecom giant is now offering that not only can handle large volumes of messages, it doesn't even use the Internet to do so. AT&T Wireless' system provides a direct, private connection to the AT&T Wireless Short Message Peer to Peer (SMPP) Gateway. So not only does the new service avoid Internet bottlenecks, the privacy and security of messages sent is not compromised by Internet-equipped hackers.

With the new service, for example, airlines can notify individual customers of flight delays or changes in travel itineraries. Or a sales-oriented company can push price changes to its sales force.

To hook up to the new service via direct access to the SMPP Gateway, businesses and organizations must pay a $999.99 one-time setup fee. A frame-relay circuit is also needed to connect to the gateway -- AT&T Wireless says it sells this service, too, although other suppliers can take care of this well.

Businesses using the service then pay a flat-rate per month, depending on the number of included messages they want. For example, a company can sign up for 7,500 messages at $500 with additional messages at 7 cents each. The largest number of messages available is 250,000 at $10,000, with each additional message at 5 cents.

Messaging plans can be changed at any time, AT&T Wireless also said. Additional charges and terms may apply.

AT&T Wireless Text Messaging for Large Accounts is now available for purchase in all AT&T Wireless owned markets. Only customers with AT&T Wireless service can receive text messages transmitted through the AT&T Wireless Text Messaging for Large Accounts service. Text-messaging recipients must also have compatible wireless phones.

AT&T Wireless says it has more than 19.5 million subscribers on one of the largest digital wireless networks in North America.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.