Australia’s Mobile Three Get Their SMS Together

Australia’s three largest mobile telephone
network providers announced Tuesday that GSM mobile
phone subscribers will be able to send
Short Message Service (SMS) format messages regardless
of which network the recipient is on. Telstra Corp., Cable & Wireless
Optus
and Vodafone
customers will be able to send and receive SMS text
messages to one another as of April 12.

SMS technology has been available for years but
sending inter-network messages was prevented or at
least inhibited by different networks using different
platforms, said Optus spokesperson Louise Ingram.

“The SMS agreement reached by Telstra, Optus and
Vodafone is a great example of how even intense
competitors can pool talents to provide improved
telecommunications services to the public,” said
Andrew Bissex, managing director of Vodafone
Australia.

Optus is sweetening the new service by offering
free SMS text messages until the end of May 2000.
Vodafone offered half-price SMS text messages to
subscribers on Tuesday.

Stock in both Telstra (TLS) and Optus (CWO) was
slightly lower in mid-afternoon trade. Mobile
Communications Holdings Ltd. – which holds 4.5% of
Vodafone Network Australia – was untraded at $14.

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