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IM On Mobile Phones 196

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the bridging-the-great-divide dept.
Dr Occult writes "Some of the biggest mobile phone networks have joined forces to push instant messaging (IM) over mobiles.Fifteen operators, including Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and China Mobile have agreed to work together to make it easy to IM across networks. Third-generation mobile networks can carry more data and move it around far faster so messages really can be instant.This is important because IM conversations typically involve more back and forth than text message chats and it ensures that the experience is similar to that enjoyed online. Under the initiative, the 15 operators covering 700 million mobile phone users have agreed to use a single standard for IM, which would work across networks.The operators are looking to launch instant messaging mobile services later this year."
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IM On Mobile Phones

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  • That's great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @09:45AM (#14715335)
    One more thing for idiots to use their cell phones for while driving instead of watching where their going....

    Do we REALLY need more stuff on our cell phones?

    I mean, isn't an mp3 player, camera, games, calendar book, internet access, email access enough?

    • Re:That's great! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jmnormand (941909)
      aol and yahoo already do this to an extent. cant say as ive ever really had the need to do it though since text messaging seems to be more than efficient for my needs. i cant see how this will really be effective on a phone however, you just cant type fast enough or have enough screen realestate to take advantage of im like you do on a computer.
    • Re:That's great! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TedCheshireAcad (311748) <.ted. .at. .fc.rit.edu.> on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @09:53AM (#14715389) Homepage
      Well, whatever it is, I'm sure it will cost 10c/message or 500 messages for $40/mo or something absurd like that. Either way, they will find some way to make your bill go up 15% if you even think about using the service.
      • Re:That's great! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by masklinn (823351)

        It'll be over IP, and most people already pay (through the nose) on the volume they send.

        Which doesn't, of course, mean that you won't pay additional fees for the IM

        • Re:That's great! (Score:3, Informative)

          True enough. I have this service, and Cingular seriously abuses it. If I send an "IM" using AIM to my wife's phone from my computer, it is 10c (or one message, depending). If I send one phone to phone, it is 20c (10c to send, 10c to rec.).

          I really hope they roll out some sort of "unlimited" plan for this. It benefits me tremendously to have it running for quick informal info (like addresses, paths, commands, etc.), but both email and IM to phone are just too frikin expensive.

          On the other had, 10c per email
          • I was under the impression the charge was for text messages, not IM.

            I was IM'ing someone the other day and I'm pretty sure nobody was charged. Maybe I took a few of k of data out of my monthly allowance, but that was about all.
        • It'll be over IP, and most people already pay (through the nose) on the volume they send.

          Too true. Let's put an estimate of 200 bytes per message sent, say, including all the communication overheads. Current rates for my operator at least are around 2c per KB. Times say, 25 messages per session, adds up to about 10c for a fairly brief chat.

          I'm probably off on the message content size. Obviously this will vary a lot. Clearly, images are out of the question. leet speak would be a must here to keep the message
          • l33tsp33k? (Score:2, Funny)

            by jheath314 (916607)
            Maybe it's just the variants I know, but leetspeek doesn't seem any shorter than normal text. IIRC, the original purpose of leet was obfuscation, not length. Observe:

            I win! --> 1 p0wnz0rz j00!1!

          • /*leet speak would be a must here to keep the message size down.*/

            How's that?  As I see it, 1337 5p33k only replaces letters with numbers and other symbols.  To be effective as a method of compression, it'd have to omit letters entirely.  I'd be more in favor of using abbreviations and omitting letters like in Unix directory paths (e.g. usr for "user").
      • Re:That's great! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Golias (176380) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @11:00AM (#14715812)
        Well, whatever it is, I'm sure it will cost 10c/message or 500 messages for $40/mo or something absurd like that. Either way, they will find some way to make your bill go up 15% if you even think about using the service.

        The sad thing is, I can talk more-or-less for free, because I never quite use up my minutes, but I get charged every time I send or receive a text message. So, the service which costs them more to provide costs me less. It's exactly backwards, yet in the world of "a la carte" services on mobile networks, it somehow makes sense.

        Some day, some cell phone company is going to come up with a business model which quits treating every new data format as a network "feature" that adds cost to the plan and treats bandwidth as bandwidth. No, downloading a picture does not cost more than talking on the phone for three seconds. IM costs almost nothing. Thirty or forty bucks a month should cover the cost of damn near anything normal users do.

        On that day, a lot of people will immediately drop their current plan (even if it means paying contract termination penalties to do it) and switch. I'll be first in line.
        • Revol wireless looks to be what you want... www.revol.us [revol.us]

          Unfortunately its a slim area right now, and you can't roam.
        • I just don't get this.

          Why do you send or receive text messages? Why not use the phone as a phone?

          Could someone please explain to me why I would want to spend 2 minutes typing out what would take 15 seconds to say?
          • Could someone please explain to me why I would want to spend 2 minutes typing out what would take 15 seconds to say?

            because the receipient is on the other side of the world and a txt costs 10p vs 1.00/min to call.

            Because you are in russia and it costs 2.00p connection charge + 1.50p/min to call on your roaming plan vs only 10p extra for a txt when roaming.

            Because you want to get a message to them but it's not urgent so rather than interupt them (wake them up in the middle of the night in the case of the oth
          • Setting aside that more expreienced text message users can type "what takes 15 seconds to say" in about 15 seconds...

            Perhaps you (or the person you are talking to, or both) are riding on a noisy subway.

            Perhaps one or both of you are in a setting where you don't wish to share one half of the conversation with everybody near you.

            Perhaps you are in a setting where gabbing on the phone would be rude, but to descretely deliver or receive a message would not.

            Perhaps you know the other person is not there to pick
            • No.

              If I'm not at a computer I would never IM or text message anyone. Phone keypads are fine for what they're designed for - calling a phone number. I'd no sooner use one to type than I would use a Nintendo Powerglove as a mouse. It looks like you typed this reply on your cellphone "expreienced text message users" - great. Please just use a keyboard in the future.

              On a noisy subway - what? A subway with cell repeaters? Sorry, not in my city. If you're in a situation where you don't want to call - you g
              • You're forgetting an obvious example, especially considering what day it is.

                Some people have spouses, lovers, etc. Not you, obviously... but normal people sometimes have relationships with members of the opposite sex, and would prefer to keep their private conversations private. IM is a great way to do so.
      • Interesting. The Wall Street Journal yesterday had an article about the slow uptake in 3G services in the US. I have a Motorola E815 that had Verizon's VCast installed on it free for a month, and I thought it was kinda nifty to be able to download the news and watch on my cell phone on the train, but totally not worth the extra $15/mo. fees. I think that the mobile companies are having problems selling these services because they're pricing them way too high. I might pay $5/mo for the ability to watch t
      • Sprint PCS has had an unlimited plan for a while... i've had my plan for over three years, and i'm only paying $10 a month for unlimited data. That includes web, email, IM, SMS, and pictures/MMS. Not sure if they still offer that plan, but it exists somewhere, at least.
      • The cost of IM's on mobile phones was really puzzling to me, so I asked my uncle about it, who writes drivers for mobile phone hardware. My two theories were:

        1.) For whatever reason due to the architecture of mobile systems, there was a ridiculously huge amount of overhead that needed to be packaged with each IM that required a noteable portion of a serving tower's capacity, OR
        2.) People are willing to pay $0.10 for each IM they send.

        His response was that the size of an IM is negligible compared to v
      • Telecom and cellular providers periodically offer competitive rates to support some ad campaign or other. These rates are rarely advertised--by phone you oftne have to ask about them specifically--but they must exist during the campaign so the company can't be accused of lying. The thing is, these deals are far better than the usual fare, and many are not time-limited. Over the years, I've gotten a wireless plan with more than twice the minutes of my provider's current offering for the same price, unlimi
      • I use AIM on my phone quite a bit. Fortunately, T-Mobile has an option for unlimited SMS/MMS for an extra $15/month, which saves a fortune over the limited options if you send hundreds of messages every month. It's really not that absurd considering industry standard rates for text messaging. There's really great AIM integration with my phone (Razr); my previous phones made it so awkward to use AIM I never really bothered.
    • I just spent the last half an hour to set up GPRS and Mail in my cell phone ;)

    • I'm on the verge of switching to Verizon because they just rolled out a GPS navigation service. For $3/day or $10/month your phone* acts as a navigation device to get from where you are to point B. Even with the cost of the phone, it's much cheaper than buying a GPS device and annual updates to the maps.

      So, yes, we do need more stuff in our phones. For every 100 useless features there's one I actually want and would pay for.

      * By "your phone" I of course mean the Motorola v325, which is not your phone
    • is this new? I've had AIM on my phone since I got it in august. I've seen others with yahoo.
    • actually I us IM on my treo quite a bit - I use VeriChat [pdaapps.com] which allows me to be online on Yahoo and AOL all the time... it was 25 bucks for a year - and i have found it to be a valuable tool. Though I avoid using it while driving.

  • Point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @09:46AM (#14715342)
    Is it just me, or is there not really that much point to this (unless you're deaf)? After all, the point of a text is that you can send it when you're not in a position to get involved in a lengthy conversation, just need a quick snippet of information, or just to send "pub, 8pm". But with IM, you're effectively just having a conversation.... why not just talk? Surely it's easier and more effective than typing like mad at keys that are hardly designed for the purpose?
    • Re:Point? (Score:5, Funny)

      by TedCheshireAcad (311748) <.ted. .at. .fc.rit.edu.> on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @09:55AM (#14715405) Homepage
      Think about it - if you had Google talk on your phone, not only could you IM people, but you could use Google's voice chat feature to actually speak to them!
      • this is modded funny, and from the tone i think that's what your intent was... but really, i think it should be modded insightful. this is exactly what i want. all i really want from my mobile provider is a fat data pipe - say, EVDO for starters, which i can get in much of the US today (an i've already got it, in fact) - and a decent programmable device (they're getting there quickly). forget minutes, forget 10/SMS. give me a fat pipe, and get out of my way.

        in a way, using Verizon's EVDO service and a PCMC
    • I use IM on a Treo. It is used to have a conversation with someone else, or just to get information, when in a meeting. Take for example, the situation when the meeting goes off on a tangent or is covering a section which does not apply to you. You can't leave because you need to be there for one part or another but right now you are stuck. You can't openly talk on a phone so you IM. Yes, you could get up and leave to make a call but then that might be disruptive. So you whip out the Treo do something
    • Re:Point? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pointbeing (701902) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:02AM (#14715460)
      Is it just me, or is there not really that much point to this (unless you're deaf)? After all, the point of a text is that you can send it when you're not in a position to get involved in a lengthy conversation, just need a quick snippet of information, or just to send "pub, 8pm". But with IM, you're effectively just having a conversation.... why not just talk? Surely it's easier and more effective than typing like mad at keys that are hardly designed for the purpose?

      Part of my job is to provide text messaging solutions for hearing-impaired employees. Got a meeting this afternoon with the eight hearing-impaired employees, two signers and the Equal Opportunity office to talk about solutions.

      Right now they're using Nokia Sidekicks for SMS and I'm trying to switch them over to Blackberrys. The Sidekick is kind of a neat device with a full QWERTY keyboard but the only vendor that offers them is T-Mobile and during testing we found the Blackberrys had better coverage, lower latency and could receive push email instead of pulling it with the Sidekicks. Also, this'd let the buiding's Emergency Operations Center send one email to a group and notify all of them of an evauaction drill or an emergency.

      I'd *really* like to get T-Mobile out of my enterprise. Right now I have a bit less than 500 cellular devices deployed and the only thing keeping T-Mobile around is these damn Sidekicks.

      But I digress. My point is there are SMS solutions for hearing-impaired folks that actually work pretty well - and for the folks who really need to text it's a great solution.

      • Nokia does not make the Sidekick. It was developed by Danger, and is manufactured by Sharp. There are other vendors that are (slowly) starting to offer the Sidekick, but T-Mobile has part-ownership of Danger so you could see how they have a stranglehold on the market.

        That said, the Sidekick2 is a really neat device, but VERY fragile, and once you get in the refurb cycle, you'll be in it until your warranty expires.
      • Oh, and to add to this, the Sidekick2 has the absolute best QWERTY keyboard of anything on the market right now. Mobile IM is very big to me, so I've tested them all. I ended up switching to an Ipaq hw6515 for the features, but I sorely miss my SK2's keyboard.

        Don't make your hearing impaired employees give it up unelss you're providing them with something that is equally as good. The sidekick has built-in softare for telephone relay chat services, absolutely essential for deaf users.
        • ...Don't make your hearing impaired employees give it up unelss you're providing them with something that is equally as good. The sidekick has built-in softare for telephone relay chat services, absolutely essential for deaf users.

          Thank you for the information - I guess Nokia just markets the SK; I didn't know they don't make them ;-)

          I'm trying hard to be sensitive to user needs here - that's why the sitdown to see what the users think about a SK --> Blackberry switch. It's already been pointed ou

    • I suspect that they want to drive GPRS traffic in their network, its a pretty good source of income for them.

      A phone call and SMS costs next to nothing. A IM client hooked up all day sending keep alive packet and messages generates more money for them.
    • Privacy (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shivetya (243324)
      I'll give you the number one reason why I am changing to a phone that supports IM.

      WORK!

      With all the monitoring they do at my place of work and worse, what I read being done at others, I will take steps to insure my privacy.

      Phone calls can be monitored, Internet usage usually is, IM can be as well, and e-mail is scanned, some times censored, and even saved.

      With IM on my phone I can stay in touch with those who need me without the interruption of an actual phone call as well as keep my life private from my em
    • Why do people IM instead of pick up their office phone? because they want to "talk" silently in some cases. I'd be so much happier if people didn't discuss their business/ personal lives at top volume in train carriages. I'm sure there are other functionalities of IM in preference to voice...

      Plus price - if it's priced at less than voice calls, it will take off like SMS did. People have quit long "conversations" via SMS.
    • I don't think you know how popular SMS is here (Denmark) and many other places.
    • I already have MSN Messenger on my phone and although I don't use it a great deal, it's great for a quick chat with my wife while I'm sat in a boring meeting, or on the bus without having to disturb anyone (I could use SMS, if she'd ever got her phone turned on or could actually type a message on her phone!).

      You can also have multi-person conversations a lot easier than with SMS - handy if you're trying to meet up with a group of people.
    • Well, the other party may be at the office at the computer and not really at ease to talk to you at the moment. Or you could be in some public place (public transit, movies...) and don't want to disturb people around you. Or it is 1AM and you hesitate calling your friend, but maybe he's still hanging in ICQ on his PC? Then - there are some things that are easier to discuss over IM than over voice calls. Then - the other party may be on another continent and long distance calls from the cell cost... oh, my d
    • Humorously enough, the one reason I like IM rather than SMS on my phone is the UI. Initiating an SMS "conversation" is a miserably painful experience on most of the phones I've had.
      If you're lucky, you can send an SMS message from your phone book, but that still requirest sifting through your entire phone book to your particular entry, then one click to open a menu and another click to send the SMS.
      More than one phone I've had wont let you send an SMS from the address book. You have to enter the SMS sectio
    • Sometimes you want to communicate with people when you can't conveniently talk. Such as a movie theater, lecture, or other environment when talking would bother other people. Or when it's too loud to carry on a conversation, such as a club or a concert. Or if you're busy, but not really busy, and want to reply at your convenience. Plus all the reasons people use IM on the computer instead of calling.
  • As long as they don't charge PER message, this is a VERY promissing service. And even more so when the desktop IM clients start being compatible with this standard.
  • Ramble IM (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JFlex (763276) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @09:49AM (#14715353)
    I use Ramble IM [sra.com] on my Nextel BlackBerry and it works great as a real time AIM client.
  • by mobiux (118006) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @09:49AM (#14715358)
    How is this any different than that?

    Just different because we call it IM now?
    • Uh... (Score:4, Informative)

      by karzan (132637) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:25AM (#14715584)
      There is a unified text messaging system, it's standardised across all GSM networks. Yes some countries do have different text message lengths to others, which can get annoying if you send international texts and have them truncated. And there are a couple of countries that refuse to standardise on anything, like the USA, so use bizarre non-GSM systems. But for the vast majority of the world, which is on some variant of GSM, text messages are standardised and more or less seamless.

      And IM is different to SMS. SMS is about sending messages one at a time from one phone to another. It only works on phone networks, and the messages are not connected together in e.g. threads. If your phone is off, they queue up until you turn it on; the person sending you a text can't see if you're 'online' at the moment. IM is at least in principle network-neutral; you should be able to send IMs back and forth between your phone and an Internet-based IM service, for example. People can see that you're online, and messages are threaded. The two are very different.
      • There is a unified text messaging system, it's standardised across all GSM networks. Yes some countries do have different text message lengths to others, which can get annoying if you send international texts and have them truncated. And there are a couple of countries that refuse to standardise on anything, like the USA, so use bizarre non-GSM systems. But for the vast majority of the world, which is on some variant of GSM, text messages are standardised and more or less seamless.

        I don't know if you could
        • The reason it is bizarre is not that it is technically inferior, but that it is globally non-standard. The result of this is that an American with a CDMA phone cannot roam to 95% of countries on the planet (there are a couple that have small CDMA networks, but not many). It also means that there are large areas of the US covered by CDMA but not by GSM, so that people from the rest of the world have a harder time roaming in those parts of the USA.

          One of the main advantages of GSM is that I can get on a pla
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @09:51AM (#14715370)
    Now, voice over ip is slowly starting to replace textual conversations on computers. IM began as a way to mimick the way people talk to each other on the phone. Text was used because, well, not everyone had a sound card (especially not in office PCs) and the amount of data transfered in voice chat was a lot more than text (and that's not too convenient when you're on a 56k modem or when you're charged for every Megabyte transfered).

    Now there's a medium that's perfectly capable of handling voice conversations. Why I know? Because that is (or at least was) it's main application!

    Why the heck should I want to "downgrade" to typed conversation? Especially on a "keyboard" that breaks my fingers already when I'm forced to compile a short message? Granted, there are others unlike me who can actually use that tool to type fairly fast, but still, nothing beats the speed and easy of verbal communication.
    • Are you for real? Have you existed in a vacuum over the last 10 years of the mobile phone industry?

      Text messages are:
      1.Asyncronous by nature. Your target does not have to be available for receiving calls for you to send them text messages. They'll read them the next time they check their phones. Listening to voice mail is a much slower and more annoying form of asyncrynous communication.
      2. Easier and less ambigious way of sending information to someone. Need an address? Send it by text rather than try to s
      • Exactly. Text is also superior in areas of poor signal reception (read: anywhere I am*), though the typing interface on a cell phone reduces this to some extent. "Hello." "what?" "hello" "what?" "HELLO" "what?" .. is not a very efficient conversation.

        * Is it just me, or do cell providers track you to determine your place of residence and then ensure that service sucks there, getting a kickback from the local phone company?

      • Here's the deal. This feature is NOT for you. It's for teenagers who are used to IM as their social glue. Period. Your description didn't show any advantages of IM over email for cell phones - both are asynchronous and could cross the phone/pc divide. There aren't any advantages, for any normal adult. The only difference is you can see if the other person is 'online' - how the hell cares when you're dealing with an asynchronous medium?

        But if you're a teen chatting away in study hall - different story.
    • No. It's often easier to say things in a text message than it is in a voice conversation. Just something about the human psyche, I guess. In addition, with text chat, you're much less distracted and immediate responses are not expected, as they are in a voice chat. You have more time to think and multitask.
    • Why the heck should I want to "downgrade" to typed conversation?

      There are places where cell phone chatter is inappropriate and unwanted. if not banned. Text messaging is quiet and private.

  • Agile Messenger has done it for years. You just need a GPRS-capable phone.

    It's also the cheapeast way to mass-send photos etc, much cheaper than using MMS.

  • Oh do keep up... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I've been doing this for a couple of years without 3G thanks to applications like agilemessenger on series 60/80/UIQ phones. It is dead handy when firewalls block IM and you need to IM people.
  • I love text messaging, but that's because the message gets through whenever the recipient next looks at their phone and you can keep things concise.

    IM on a phone, unless it's an unusual one with a full keyboard, would just be really unsatisfying and slow. By that point even I would call the other person, and I don't like speaking on the phone.

    OTOH, I'm all for device convergence, the less things I have to carry around, the better. It's not like I was carrying around an IM client device though.
    • OTOH, I'm all for device convergence, the less things I have to carry around, the better. It's not like I was carrying around an IM client device though.

      Three words: Star Trek Communicator

      Instant contact. No video (do you really need to see the person you're talking to?). Able to carry on a normal conversation (instead of bursts of acronyms, abbreviations, and hacked-up vocabulary). Portable. Interfaceable with a computer. And best of all, only a couple of centuries away!

      • Re: Star Trek Communicator

        Things we never saw the computer say to Data:
        "Commander Riker is in the shower."
        "Commander Riker is not to be disturbed tonight."
        "Commander Riker is asleep."

        Things we never saw the computer say to the Captain:
        "Counsellor Troi asked that Commander Riker not be disturbed tonight."

        The demands of a script to move the action forward mean that asynchronous conversations never happen, while in the real world, there is lots of reason for them. In addition, parts of Star Trek are a hold ove
  • Hard to Type (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jimktrains (838227)
    Hasn't anyone else noticed that it is hard to type on a 12-key keypad? I hate sending txt's simply because of that...

    As a person also already said, txting is when you don't want a length convo and jsut want to say stuff like: "din pete 5" to make dinner plans at pete's at 5....
  • In an imaginary world, carriers cheerfully and competitively provide progressive services to their fellow humans.. in the real world, they're looking to gouge and limit things as much as possible. Maybe I just need to switch providers, but I have a feeling after this cabal gets their hands on it, this is not going to be the IM of dreams.
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @09:55AM (#14715406)
    IC - Instant Conversing
    It's just like a regular phone call except that you do not dial a number, you just say a name and start talking!
    Perfect for those 'on the go' and for use while driving, sitting in a movie theater, or even while in class!
    Just like Text Messaging has gone the way of Instant Messaging, regular phone calls are going the way of Instant Conversing!
    With this amazing new technology, you will sure to be hooked!

    Only $19.99 if you act now, fee will be added to your regular monthly phone bill. Long distance and roaming charges do not apply. A surcharge will be added for incidental costs incurred. Service currently not available in Greenland, Antarctica, and China.
  • My telephone runs windows mobile, and comes bundeld with MSN messenger. I can connect through GPRS, and that 'works'. The only problem is I/O. It is hell to type in any messages with my keypad, with or without the help of T9.

    I feel that the biggest hurdle to take in this scenario is not the technical feasability of running IM apps on mobile networks, but the I/O capabilities of mobile devices. PDAs are largely business oriented, while the bulk of the IM-users consists of teenagers, who do not carry a stylus
  • If you're looking for a great, FREE client for AIM, check out Toccer [mytreo.net]. Its not as fully functional as Verichat, or others, but it's still great!
  • I've used XMPP over GPRS from my laptop and palmtop, and it's very convenient. I can have about an hour of moderate activity for about the same price as a text message. I would love to have native support for XMPP in my 'phone, but something tells me that this will just be yet-another-proprietary-'standard'.
  • Guess what. Now they can even start working on a voice protocol.

  • I use a Treo 650 which has a qwerty keyboard, the SMS application already places each text in a chat thread so you can see what you have sent and received from the person you are "chatting" to... however at Xp per message it's quite expensive and of course you can't chat with the IM clients on peoples computers.

    Alternatively there are already IM clients for Palm OS [chatopus.com] allowing the use of AIM, Yahoo!, jabber etc on the Treo... personally I don't use them, but then again I don't use IM on my computer either.
  • Are these phones powerful enough yet to run voice recognition software yet? I know there are some phones that let you say "call Mom" but I'm talking a full setup that allows you to train your phone to handle speech. Typing on these is a bitch, especially for IMs. How 'bout it, Science?
  • How is this new? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eoosting (813896)
    How is this new? My nokia 3390 from 4-5 years ago had integrated aol instant messaging. In my mind they need to use a standardized protocol instead of inventing their own closed protocol. How about putting a jabber client on every phone? If each provider ran their own jabber server and peered between them everyone could talk to just about anyone. They could even peer with other jabber providers like google talk so people could chat with computer users as well. This isn't rocket science so why do they feel t
    • I could be wrong, but I get the impression that they are talking about using SMS as an infrastructure to IM people via the method that seems to work so well when text messaging people today.

      In other words you get to IM your buddies cell phone number, which you probably have aliased in your phone book some how, and the phone handles figuring out how to get the message to it's destination.

      What most people have mentioned above is using something like AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messanger, etc. to do their instant messagin
    • You've never worked with telcos have you ?

      It's all about minutes, the more minutes you shovel the more management likes it. They were a bit slow with the internet thing, some still insist on having walled gardens ... WAP and the like was a classic misunderstanding of the internet too, and now we have nice proper browsers!

      Don't get me started about folks not understanding the internet either, http/https isn't the only protocol people need!

      *argh*

  • I want Skype on me mobile phone!
  • People, live with it. There are BILLIONS of text messages exchanged and there are hundreds of thousands of Agile Messenger "subscribers".

    Real alerting thing is, there is no mention of "Jabber" (XMPP) in the article. No word at http://www.jabber.com/ [jabber.com] or http://www.jabber.org/ [jabber.org] too.

    We are speaking about huge GSM companies here. One must start a petition, send some "people" to these companies IMMEDIATELY.

    FYI, XMPP is the _official_ protocol of Internet 2. http://www.internet2.edu/ [internet2.edu]

    Enough with "I am so cool, who
  • When there's a solution that does not store my password remotely.
  • IM is Overrated (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:46AM (#14715721) Homepage Journal
    As much as the trendoids out there may feel that they are the "digerati" since they use all the latest buzzy technologies, it all comes down to one thing: two tin cans and a string. When it comes to communication, people only fall into one of two camps especially when they are young:

    1. You and your best friend rigged up some kind of comm system between your houses because you were actual real live techno geeks.

    or...

    2. You were a catty, snippy teen who passed around "he said/she said" notes in school all day and that's about the extent of what communication means to you.

    Now obviously there's a right way and a wrong way to look at communication. The right way is to ogle the technology itself and try to learn how it works so you can do more interesting things with it. The wrong way is to use it to pass around "he said/she said" information (ie. what most morons consider communication to be). Personally, I think IM is overrated because there are very few IM systems that you can actually force into serving you properly. My preference is Jabber because I can actually run my own IM server for private use among friends and family. I can also do very interesting things with it, like trigger events remotely by sending commands to a "bot" account. I've got one at home on my Jabber server that I call "Bash Boy". All I have to do is send IM messages to it like:

    cd /
    ls
    mv file1 /home/mystuff

    and it obeys. I challenge you to do that with the proprietary IM that other companies offer. If your IM can't do that, then you're not really using IM to it's fullest capabilities. And that's a VERY basic example. Now adding this IM feature to cell phones is ridiculous. Think about all the fat, lazy white trash you see walking around with a cell phone grafted to their ears in the grocery store. You know why they won't use IM? Because they can barely read let alone spell. Can you imagine what sort of horrors they will be "typing" via their IM???

    SnuffyBear25: "i heart u babay"
    MotorMan: "yeh"
    SnuffyBear25: "whatchu doin"?
    MotorMan: "yeh"
    SnuffyBear25: "do u no how much i heart u"?
    MotorMan: "how much"?
    SnuffyBear25: "i heart you bigger than peter north's pole"
    MotorMan: "damn baby. git on over here. i got a 40 and we can party"
    SnuffyBear25: "i b there in a flash 4 u babay. hugs".

    Do we really want to promote this kind of sick behavior? If anything we should be building re-education centers to clean this kind of thing up. Who's with me!
  • I've had AIM, Yahoo! IM and MSN Messenger flat rate on Nextel for years. If you can browse the web via WAP on your Nextel, then you have this, too. I'm typically more mobile than my contacts, so I prefer this over "texting". I'd rather my conversations blend in with the others they're already having on their desktop.
  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @11:00AM (#14715813) Homepage
    Think of the 14-year-old schoolgirl (steady, slashdotters).

    From their perspective, communication with their friends is their LIFE.
    When they get home, they instantly go online and chat to their friends.
    When they go to school, they start using their mobile phone to SMS them.

    herein lies the disparity: that when they are on the way to school,
    and when they are in class, they aren't in front of a computer, they're
    on the mobile phone.

    If the phone operators can make it possible for people who are used to
    massive amounts of computer-enabled world-wide communications to use
    ONE device to "seamlessly" stay connected, irrespective of where those
    people are, then that's GOT to be an all-round winner.

    My take on this initiative is that it will be an absolute massive hit,
    IF the pricing is kept reasonable, bearing in mind that it's going to
    have to be GSM-based.

    What they need to do is to proxy UDP traffic over SMS, and to write
    an IM protocol that is UDP-based, not TCP-based, that has its own
    _very slow_ self-sequencing acknowledgment (to save people SMS charges!)
  • How Cool! (Score:3, Funny)

    by el_womble (779715) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @11:12AM (#14715885) Homepage
    This is a step in the right direction. Although using T9 to enter all the smilies is a real PITA. Waht we need is an application that can, in real time, convert my speech into binary, then transmit it to person I'm calling where it will, in real time be converted back into a sound, not entirely unlike my voice... oh.

    If people are using your network to text and IM each other, in preference to talking YOU ARE CHARGING TOO MUCH!
  • IM is never going to be popular in North America until the providers get their heads out of their asses and start charging reasonable amounts for data access. They wonder why no one sends pictures over their phone or uses all theyr hyper-cool content, it is because they'd have to sell their first-born child to afford it.

    Why can I get unlimited evening and weekend talk time for 25 bucks or less a month, but I can't get more than 5 MB of data transfer for that same price? It is foolish. I'd exhaust 5MB in a f
    • Jesus god, mod this puppy up please!

      Verizon charges two arms, a leg and a penis for their network access. ...and they predicted people would be all over the net on these things?
  • Rediff's BOL (Hindi for "talk") has been doing this for ages and ages. When you go idle or offline, it automagically forwards IMs to your phone.
    -russ
  • mobile phones have had IM for years. Most of the world calls it SMS TXTing.

    The key user experience difference between SMS and internet IM, is that on the internet you usually have a full size keyboard to type longer messages quicker.

    Getting your phone to send a SMS over IP isn't going to change that.

  • by booch (4157)
    How long is instant? I see the term thrown around a lot, but it's never been clear to me how long it is. I suppose the question is how long can it take before the user would consider it not to be instant. My guess would be on the order of 100 ms in most cases. Which isn't much time to get data through a network.

    And yes, this is a serious question for networking types who have to consider user experience.
  • RU going to charge us 20c per IM like you do for SMSs too? Sure sounds like a cash cow eh?

    Why is it Japan can charge 0.9c for not just an SMS but a REAL EMAIL from mobile phones, and 5yrs on western carriers are still ripping off teenage kids with $500 bills because of a few SMS conversations?
  • Why cant they just licence MSN, AIM, ICQ and Yahoo and put them on phones instead.

    Oh yeah, because they cant use those protocols as another way to suck money out of clueless users :)

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