How Reliable are Cell Phones?
How Reliable are Cell Phones?
Cellular phones and pagers are part of the "now" generation,
instant contact, anywhere at any time. People are looking
for convenience, comfort and security. The question is how
instantaneous and reliable is the contact?
Talking with someone is the main use for a cell phone, yet
due to poor reception how often do calls not go through, or
important calls "dropped" due to flaky coverage? Let us not
forget, that in a time of tragedy, lines were congested and
the resounding "all circuits busy" messages were heard from
coast to coast. There is certainly room for improvement if
you want to reach out and touch someone.
The alternative to voice communication is traditional text
messaging, enjoyed by the young as SMS, a 'hip' communication
method, and the older as the tried and true paging, a trustworthy
means of communication. A carrier receives pages or text messages
via a traditional dial up modem or Internet connection to
their terminal, and then broadcasts the messages over their
network to the appropriate wireless device. How instant is
sending a text message? The answer might surprise you...it
Traditional means of sending text messages is surprisingly
reliable and fast. However, many cellular carriers, wishing
to merge technologies while keeping costs down, have opted
to utilize email technology to send text messages. Why not,
an email is nothing more than a text message, using the Simple
Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). On the surface this sounds
like a great idea, nearly everyone has email access, and the
use of the Internet streamlines the sending of messages.
What is often overlooked, is the fact that email was not
designed to be time sensitive. There can be significant delays
and an instantaneous receipt can be lost when sending email
to a pager or cell phone. Text messages sent via the email
protocol SMTP could take a more scenic delivery route. While
in many cases, receiving messages in a timely fashion is not
critical; some industries require and benefit from the receipt
of urgent messages. It is therefore important to realize and
make a distinction between the protocols that are designed
for instantaneous communication and those that are not.
If sending messages immediately to a cell phone or pager
is required, more reliable protocols are available. When sending
text messages, via a modem, the Telocator Alphanumeric Protocol
(TAP) is extremely dependable, albeit slower due to the modem
dialing. If sending messages with a high-speed Internet connection
use the newer time sensitive Internet protocols: Simple Network
Paging Protocol (SNPP) and Wireless Communication Transfer
Protocol (WCTP). If your carrier supports these protocols
they are the better options for sending important messages.
If carriers understand the "now" generation is about speed
and reliability, customer satisfaction will improve. Text
messaging is a reliable and useful communication method, especially
since voice is not always convenient or possible. With public
awareness and urging, carriers will increase their offerings
of text messaging protocols. Carriers should offer email or
SMTP, but they must also support time sensitive protocols,
regardless, of whether the protocols are older such as TAP
or newer such as WCTP.
Carriers supporting SNPP - http://www.notepage.net/snpp.htm
Carriers supporting WCTP - http://www.notepage.net/wctp.htm
About the Author -
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net
a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless
messaging software solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be
found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com
, and http://www.small-business-software.net