A Singapore technology company, Bubble Motion, has teamed up with Swedish telecommunications giant Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson to market a messaging service that eliminates the need to tap out a text message and replaces it with voice. It is a potentially hot product for wireless-service providers in developing countries and could make inroads in places where people haven’t quite gotten the hang of tapping out text messages with their thumbs on a cellphone keypad.
Voice SMSs are priced slightly more than a text message, but are half the cost of a regular mobile-phone call and a fifth of the cost of so-called multimedia messaging services, which can incorporate photos, music and other content into messages.
Users of the “voice SMS” service aren’t trying to talk directly to the people they call. Instead they just want to send a message in the form of voice instead of text. The recipient’s phone doesn’t even ring for a voice SMS; the recipient is alerted with a beep and can retrieve the voice message by pressing the star key.