WCL, world-leading innovators of mobile commerce platforms, today warns that the UK continues to lag behind in its uptake of paid-for text messaged content compared with the more mature Scandinavian markets. This statement comes from a recent survey undertaken by the Finnish company to examine the text messaging habits of UK and Finnish mobile users.
The survey's findings revealed that over three-quarters (75.7%) of UK users were not prepared to pay for any incoming text messaged services providing updates on news, sport, travel or other. This reluctance contrasted sharply with the enthusiasm shown by Finnish users for paid-for SMS services, with over three-quarters (77.2%) surveyed happy to pay for SMS content, and a fifth of that number (20.6%) prepared to pay the equivalent of over 50p for text-messaged information.
Damon Lambert head of commercial strategy of WCL, said: "Despite the well-documented explosion in SMS usage in the UK, I still believe that text messaging is not being exploited to its full potential. The reticence by UK users to pay for content is due to the lack of high-quality content services currently available in the UK. Without the commitment of content providers to develop innovative and informative SMS-based content, UK consumers will continue to be deprived from embracing such opportunities.
"It's no surprise to me that the Finns are happy to pay for such services because the country's strong focus on content development has meant m-commerce and other applications have become a part of their lifestyle. Finns value SMS text messaging services that provide updates for travel, news, sport, or other information and think nothing of using their mobile phones to select and pay for these services."
Of the 20.6% UK users surveyed that never sent text messages more than 40% cited the main reason for their reluctance was they found text messaging 'too fiddly'. This explanation differed from that given by the 6.9% of non-text messaging Finnish mobile users who stated that they would 'rather talk to people' instead.
Both UK and Finnish mobile users cited family and friends as the main recipients of their text messages whilst professional business partners and clients were rarely (less than 4.5% surveyed) contacted using SMS indicating that text messaging has not yet taken off as a business communication tool.
Please note a more detailed report of the survey's findings is available from Andrew Hackett on 020 7282 1067.
Established in January 1999, WCL is a world-leading innovator, providing platforms and applications for mobile marketing, communication and commerce. Its technology enables companies to rapidly deploy standalone wireless applications by adding wireless interactivity to them. WCL's flexible m-commerce platform, Wireless Commerce Engine is a business-to-business packaged solution that allows clients with wide ranging business models to offer m-commerce services to their customers. WCL was acquired in April 2001 by Mgine Technologies, a wireless company that numbers Estonia's largest mobile operator among its strategic owners.
WCL's clients include eBay, Kizoom, Teletext, Opera Telecom and Guardian Unlimited. Key business partners include Nokia and Hewlett Packard.
For further information regarding WCL, please visit http://www.wcl.com
For further information please contact:
WCL Press Enquiries
Sarah Rowan / Andrew Hackett,
Tel: 020 7282 1049 / 1067
Tel: 0870 7300 767
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