uReach Says

Text messaging sounds great. Just type in a quick message – “get milk” or “at mall” – and send. What could be easier? But in practice, trying to type on a 10-digit telephone keypad is an exercise in frustration.

“When you think about it, it’s surprising how non-mobile text messaging ends up being,” says Richard Stern, VP Marketing at Holmdel, NJ-based uReach. “You have to stop and type out the message.”

Making text messaging truly quick and mobile is the logic behind uReach’s SayText(tm) messaging service. It allows users to just ‘say it on the go.’ The spoken message is then delivered just like SMS messages – something that is especially useful if you’re driving or you speak a language that doesn’t easily lend itself to a 10-digit keypad. Messages are received as SMS messages. Simply click to listen.

Saskatchewan telecom SaskTel recently chose SayText for its new Say and Send(tm) text messaging service. It’s part of the carrier’s strategy to stay ahead of the innovation curve for its 400,000 customers.

“We are continuously looking for the next new technology,” says SaskTel Director of Corporate Communications Michelle Englott. “This seemed like a convenient alternative to text messaging that our customers would be interested in.”

The beauty of the uReach approach is that unlike MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) SayText uses the existing SMS infrastructure. That means service providers don’t have to invest in new infrastructure and consumers don’t have to buy new handsets. Instead, the service works seamlessly with existing mobile handsets.

Not quite 10 years old, uReach offers a SIP-based converged communications platform as both a managed service and licensed software. The company’s products include Enhanced Voice Messaging, Audio-SMS, Multimedia Messaging, Single Number Service which are available to both service providers and consumers.

uReach handles voice messaging for about 10 million customers worldwide, including SaskTel, SunRocket and about one third of Verizon’s customers. The company’s technology also underlies Bell Canada’s “Single Number Reach.” SayTalk has also been implemented by Singapore-based BubbleMotion in its BubbleTalk SMS service in Asia.

But SaskTel’s service is the first of its kind in North America. Other carriers likely to follow, though, and uReach’s Stern expects to be “making some announcements in 2007.”