cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

SMS functionality

RichSmol
Grafter
Posts: 709
Registered: 29-10-2007

SMS functionality

Gradwell are currently developing an SMS tool within voip.plus.net which allows you to send text message submitted via a webform to any mobile number - you can enter multiple mobile numbers and you can also receive text messages back to your geo voip number which should appear in your inbox.
You can also forward the inbound texts to other mobiles, HTTP URLs and emails!
Texts will probably cost about 7p and will probably come from your pre-paid credit.
Theres still a bit of work to be done but i'd like to get a general feel for how this would be received. I think its a great feature to be honest but now that mobile operators are adding more and more texts into a subscription bundle it may be more suitable for Business customers or a small support centre type environment but some residential customers (those who dont have a mobile or get caught short on credit?) might find it really useful....
Thoughts please folks!
28 REPLIES
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 17,192
Thanks: 883
Fixes: 101
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: SMS functionality

As you say I think that it's a bit expensive for residential usage and if I do run out of texts (doubtful at 500) , I can send them from my providers web portal for free.
Will Moderate For Thanks
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,484
Thanks: 190
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: SMS functionality

Hi Rich
Nice idea, and I'd agree that it may be more suited to businesses, though it is still on the expensive side for them.  The API that I use for sending sms from my web utilites cost 4p per message.
Phil
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,521
Thanks: 920
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: SMS functionality

Nice idea Rich, but the pricing is not right? 
For mobile users it's included in most payment plans,
Residential users can have it added to their line at limited cost (but not via Plusnet?)  and 10p per text and are not likely to make vast use of it.
Business users can buy in bulk at far lower charges than 7p
Maurice
A feature looking for a market?
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: SMS functionality

I was thinking that a 100 text bolt for a fiver on might be an idea?
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,521
Thanks: 920
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: SMS functionality

Quote from: Jameseh
I was thinking that a 100 text bolt for a fiver on might be an idea?

Make it 150 and I might agree Grin
RichSmol
Grafter
Posts: 709
Registered: 29-10-2007

Re: SMS functionality

no matter what the price is - if you can get it free somewhere else then theres no value in this....this is a case of finding the market for a feature which is deployed to our portal for free. Theres no deployment cost involved.
Wholesale costs dont permit us to be able to do 150 for £5 but we could offer a 150 text bundle as part of a subscription product like E&Ws or Anytime and offer cheaper rate PAYG SMS on zero subscription accounts.
just playing around here:
BBPhone 120,240,360,480 = £0 subscription, PAYG texts at 7p (possibly cheaper if you can cross subsidise the margins on subscription products and still make subscription and non-sub products attractive)
BBPhone E&Ws (2000 off-peak) = £2.93, possibly increase this to £3.50-£4 with 150 texts bundled in
BBPhone Anytime (4000 anytime) = £4.88, increase this to £5.50-6 with 200 texts bundled in
Just looking at this and trying to find a product which just looks interesting in a residential space i think we'd be talking about products with negative margin and taking a punt on the fact that x% of customers dont use more 500 mins. Not an easy conversation to have!
Phil7979
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 10-02-2009

Re: SMS functionality

Receiving inbound texts would be good, but 7p for sending is too expensive. I can already send texts via Skype for 5.6p.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,886
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: SMS functionality

Again, like some of the others, with the reasonably good mobile bundles we get these days, I get 1000 SMS free from Vodafone and maybe use 200 of them at the most.
I guess if you didn't have a mobile phone (But faced with reality, 90% of the population have them!) it would be a good stop-gap, otherwise, 7p/SMS is a lot considering it'll probably only cost them 2p per message in real costs.
RichSmol
Grafter
Posts: 709
Registered: 29-10-2007

Re: SMS functionality

Last i heard is that 75% of the population are on PAYG mobile tariffs - iirc text costs up to 10p on a PAYG tariff. Seems thats the right target customer for this...just so happens that they are probably the most likely set of people to take a very low priced broadband product as well, but its difficult to say that they would be the type of customer who is technologically driven and would entertain VoIP which obviously then exposes the SMS fucntionality to the customer. SMS itself is not the key driver for VoIP here - have to keep in mind that its an add-on for an add-on.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,521
Thanks: 920
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: SMS functionality

Aye!  But an add-on to an add-on that is currently not advertised as part of the new product packages?
The SMS offering is also PC based and potentially less attractive to Residential users.  For a business User, the price is high - currently buy in 1000 unit chunks at a lower rate?
I remain optimistic that VoIP will take off, but latest industry reports are less than encouraging about the volume, particularly in the Residential market.  There is also the fact that Plusnet are cutting back on many of the older 'frills' that were a good feature of the previous product offerings, is it likely that VoIP is a candidate for a prune?
Maurice
RichSmol
Grafter
Posts: 709
Registered: 29-10-2007

Re: SMS functionality

I cant hide the fact that it is under threat - you only have to look at the sales pages and new product information to realise that but there a large group of infulential people within Plusnet who can see the major benefits our platform has the capability to offer...heres some of the items that we could potentially push if/when the focus is turned to VoIP:
-combined pstn / voip products (lift your handset and get the cheapest possible call rate from both platforms)
-fax to email - also delivered by Gradwell as a direct replacement to our existing (and flakey) F2E platform
-outbound sms
-advanced business grade voip solutions - centrex accounts which include IVR capability and other PBX features
-pre-configured hardware
-VoIP via 21CN
-VoIP + Femto cell solutions
Some are further away than others but you need to start the journey by driving minutes through the platform on the simple products and making the platform profitable before we can take the next steps..
And dont forget - we have ~5000 active voip users, driving somewhere around 750 hours of outbound minutes a month on a cost neutral platform. All that without any advertising whatsoever and without providing our own hardware. I think those figures speak volumes about how well it could do.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,521
Thanks: 920
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: SMS functionality

Quote from: Rich
I cant hide the fact that it is under threat -

That becomes a big de-motivator when trying to build a business case?   Having a key feature of the Case being under threat of removal would make me look at another supplier.   For this product, it would probably be Gradwell and so short circuit potential problems via the Plusnet route
Quote
...heres some of the items that we could potentially push if/when the focus is turned to VoIP:

Believe me - I'm with you on these points and more, but the key here is to consolidate the ongoing delivery promise - as above.  Most of the attributes are going to be of real value to SME's and will need some additional 'push' to generate some renewed interest in VoIP as a solution not a problem,.
One possible 'quick win' is to add IAX and IAX2 support (deliverable by Gradwell) into the product scope.   Quite a number of small innovative products now in the market are based on Asterisk so providing the option to utilise these options will 'put a tick in the box'.   OK, so SIP is the new preffered option, but many older functions are still IAX(2) based.  Making IAX2 available may just get you through the 'first cut' of potential suppliers, with IAX actually playing little or no part in the final engineered solution, but at least the Plusnet option would still be in the running.
This possibility was first raised in Jan 2007 as PUGIT 245 if you would like to review what was said then.  If IAX(2) is not on the horizon could I request that you update the PUGIT item so that it can be closed.
Quote
Some are further away than others but you need to start the journey by driving minutes through the platform on the simple products and making the platform profitable before we can take the next steps..

I tend to agree, but there is a potential 'Chicken and Egg' situation here.   Users may look at the service more favourably if it did what they wanted it to do - particularly true of motivated SME's
RichSmol
Grafter
Posts: 709
Registered: 29-10-2007

Re: SMS functionality

Quote from: MauriceC

One possible 'quick win' is to add IAX and IAX2 support (deliverable by Gradwell) into the product scope.   Quite a number of small innovative products now in the market are based on Asterisk so providing the option to utilise these options will 'put a tick in the box'.   OK, so SIP is the new preffered option, but many older functions are still IAX(2) based.  Making IAX2 available may just get you through the 'first cut' of potential suppliers, with IAX actually playing little or no part in the final engineered solution, but at least the Plusnet option would still be in the running.
This possibility was first raised in Jan 2007 as PUGIT 245 if you would like to review what was said then.  If IAX(2) is not on the horizon could I request that you update the PUGIT item so that it can be closed.

I've asked gradwell what would be required. I suspect theres not a great deal that needs to be done as it something already offered by gradwell and the portal follows the schema of "whatever you want to offer which we sell you can do so through the portal by unhiding it"
I'll keep you posted.
RichSmol
Grafter
Posts: 709
Registered: 29-10-2007

Re: SMS functionality

we can do this right now - theres no reason why we cant offer it manually. There is a £3 charge per month for inbound, free for outbound. If its something you want to persue then PM me and i'll try and get something together and apply a re-occurring charge to your account.
cheers
Rich