Verizon melt-down on NYE?

1 01 2006

I haven’t found a cite yet, but I’m willing to bet that Verizon SMS network traffic leapt through the stratosphere last night on New Years Eve. I’ve been using SMS messaging a fair amount with Cat, and last night got a “Happy New Years!” (she was out pahtaying whilst I was home with sick child and friend). 20 minutes of trying to reply with tons of “Network Error” messages pretty much convinced me that Verizon’s SMS service had gone belly up.
Apparently Verizon wasn’t the only one inundated.
Maybe this’ll convince VZ that SMS has seriously taken hold in the US.

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One response

4 01 2006
blk

I think you’re wrong. SMS -hasn’t- taken serious hold in the US. Some quick figure hunting tells me only an estimated 10% of Americans use SMS features on their phone, and even then only infrequently. Assuming I do my math correctly, the US accounts for – I’ll be generous – maybe 1 billion SMS messages per YEAR.

Now compare that with Europe (who is behind Asia, still), and their 16 billion SMS messages per MONTH.

Nope. Not even CLOSE to “seriously taken hold.”

There are a variety of reasons for this. One biggie is that US cell companies do not work on a GSM standard, putting us far behind the rest of Europe and Asia in terms of interoperability, and, in my opinion, slowing down saturation.

Another is that Americans have more PCs and home internet access, as well as cheap cell minutes, and less use for a mobile Instant Message system, particularly one which only a subset of your friends have/use.

In the rest of the world, SMS is not only used for standard information transfer but also has entire entertainment networks built around it. In the US, It’s currently only used as a “side perk,” something you pay extra to opt-in to, for when you’re bored. The user base isn’t there, the services aren’t there; the motivation is missing, and I don’t see it coming anytime soon.

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