RealTime IT News

SMSboy.com Launches Free Europe-Wide SMS Text Messaging

[London, ENGLAND] U.K. Web site SMSboy.com has announced a free, no-strings-attached service for sending SMS text messages to mobile phones across Europe.

The new service, launched this week, enables users to send text messages from the Web to any GSM mobile phone in Europe, without even the need to register or subscribe to the service.

SMSboy.com is the brainchild of entrepreneur Shakil Khan, who believes there is a big future in tapping the youth market for mobile messaging.

"SMS text messaging has become hugely popular with the 15-24 age group, thanks to the pay-as-you-go phone revolution -- people like students, those starting out in their first jobs and so on," said Shakil Khan.

"In the same way that pay as you go phones have democratized mobile usage, we're democratizing Web-to-SMS messaging services by making them available to anyone in Europe, free of charge," he said.

Like many successful technologies, including the Internet itself, SMS (short message service) has surprised the telcos with explosive growth. In August 2000, 560 million messages were sent in the U.K., a tenfold increase over the previous year.

Italians and Germans are even more enthusiastic about SMS. In Italy, they send over a billion messages per month and in Germany, over 1.5 billion per month.

"SMS messaging has a far greater reach than WAP right now and is likely to remain in the lead for years to come, especially with young, non-corporate users," said Shakil Khan.

One curious statistic has emerged from the growth of mobile phone ownership in the U.K. With seventy percent of 15-year-olds now owning a mobile, it appears that this phenomenon is somehow linked to a decline in smoking among teenagers. But why?

SMSboy.com believes mobile phones are a "rebel token" -- replacing cigarettes as an expression of rebellion. Or could it be simply that you can't hold a cigarette and send all those SMS messages at the same time?