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.

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