RE: Unicode, SMS, PDA/cellphones

From: Keutgen, Walter (
Date: Fri Jun 02 2006 - 08:42:25 CDT

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    my opinion is that the mobile telco market is very competitive. The phones are compatible and when you switch provider, you just get a new SIM card, when you buy a new phone you just put the old SIM card into it. It seems to me that part of the software is in the phone, part in the SIM card.

    The market is very segmented and foggy. Providers tend to make special offerings with a trap in it e.g. signing a contract for 2 years. They compete on price for main stream users, but take care of making offerings difficult to compare and many short term ones. I mostly phone abroad, which a minority only does, and the price stays invariably high, 0.99EUR/min without subscription.

    I had the SMS charcater problem with my old GSM mobile phone and sometimes "" that I sent became an "i" at reception. The letters with diacritics available for sending were determined by the choice of language of the user interface. I used the phone during 5 years with first battery problems then display problems. With the new mobile phone of the same manufacturer, there is the dictionary aid for sending SMS. It is a strong improvement. The only difficulty is that when one wants to use a word not in the dictionary or switch language, one has to go deep in the menus. I use SMS only for short messages (1 display full) to people whom I cannot reach, when I fear that they will not verify their voice mail box early enough. Such messages should be far from the 160 or 70 character limit. I do not assume that the recipients have the same phone brand as I have. My parents do not and as we do not live in the same country we have not even the same service providers. Where are the incompatibilities?

    Regarding the special SMS language, one must take into account that teenagers are SMS-holics and they love developing their language, which the adults are supposed not to understand, like "chebran" and others.


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    -----Original Message-----
    From: [] On Behalf Of Philippe Verdy
    Sent: Friday, 02 June 2006 13:34
    To: Dean Harding; 'Radovan Garabik';
    Subject: Re: Unicode, SMS, PDA/cellphones

    From: "Dean Harding" <>
    > There is room in the SMPP protocol for adding new text encodings (using a
    > similar mechanism as they did to introduce UCS-2 in the first place, or the
    > Nokia extensions for multiple messages, etc) but the problem with SMS now is
    > there's so many manufacturers making phones. Back in the day, if Nokia
    > implemented some new protocol, then everyone pretty much just had to follow
    > suit, but these days there are too many players and not enough in the way of
    > standardization.

    Isn't it a good reason to finally migrate the networks to real web standards and have the network providers request to phone manufacturers to adopt and support those effective standards? Or is it a technic used specially by mobile telcos to keep their customers ina captive market with specific technologies, and specific phones that they must change every 2 or 3 years, using the bonus points they collect during their minimum 2 years subscription, so that they get new devices only from them at end of this period, i.e. devices using telco-specific features?

    Allthis is boring for users. And costly as well for them when they pay for services that finally don't render correctly on their phone! This nightmare is really acting against fair competition.

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