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Category — SMS

7 ways you can use Mobile to donate to Haiti relief efforts


This past fall at the inaugural mobile innovation week in Toronto, the CWTA announced the formation of  Mobile Giving Foundation Canada which enables Canadian consumers to “text to donate” using their mobile device to registered Canadian charities.

With the recent devastation in Haiti, Canadians can use their mobile device to donate $5 or $10 by simply texting a keyword to a specific shortcode. This one-time charge will be added to your next wireless bill or subtracted from your pre-paid account.

100% of each donation will go to the donor’s chosen charity. Service is available on most carriers.

Here are 7 [updated 1/19 from 5] ways you can donate to Haiti relief efforts:

  1. The Salvation Army in Canada: Text “HAITI” to 45678 ($5); Text “ASTRAL” to 45678 ($10 will be donated)
  2. Plan Canada: Text “HAITI” to 30333 ($5 will be donated)
  3. World Vision Canada: Text “WORLD” to 45678 ($5 will be donated)
  4. Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative: Text “HAITI” to 20222 ($5 will be donated)
  5. UNICEF Canada: Text “GIVE” or “DON” to 45678 to donate $5
  6. The Canadian Red Cross: Text “REDCROSS” to 30333 to donate $5
  7. Rogers customers only: Text “HELP” to 1291 to donate $5 to Partners in health. Rogers is also donating $250,000 in funds and goods to the relief efforts

January 18, 2010   2 Comments

Updated Canadian Mobile SMS stats

For those who haven’t heard yet, the volume of SMS messages sent in 2008 broke 20 billion. This is up from just north of 10 billion in 2007, which is up from about 4.3 billion in 2006 and about 2.1 billion in 2005.

We are already on pace in 2009 to again double volume to 40 billion SMS messages.

While the heavy users are messaging over 145 messages per month each, the number of uniques has grown to over 50% from 41% in 2008.

Uniques are growing at about 2% a month and recently 600,000 people sent their first text message!

For the first time ever, the number of messages sent through shortcode marketing programs is available. It looks like over 1 billion messages were sent to a shortcode in Canada in 2008. This is in addition to the 20 billion peer to peer messages sent.

Does anybody still think Mobile SMS is not a mass medium in Canada?

April 29, 2009   12 Comments

The truth about SMS

The New York Times reported last week that the true costs of text messaging (or SMS) to carrier is effectively zero.  This is curious as the average U.S. carrier has doubled their costs in the last three years from 10 cents a message to 20 cents.

The cost is effectively zero as the bandwidth used to transmit messages is so minuscule that that even the 2.5 trillion sent in the U.S. last year had little impact overall on their infrastructure.

A major part of the reason is that the message is carried on what is called a control channel – space or spectrum reserved for the operation of the network itself for connecting a tower to a specific mobile device. The reason SMS messages cannot be more than 160 characters is so that they can fit within this channel.

The control channel sends 160 characters each time a connection is made – even if there is no SMS message attached for the free ride.

It’s like charging your wife for gas to drive her home from the office – even though you were already heading home regardless if she needed a ride or not. Then charge her double the following day. See how long that relationship lasts…

Cross your fingers that new carriers like Globalive will do more than just say all the right things during their courtship of your mobile service contract when they go live in 2009. 


January 1, 2009   7 Comments

New Canadian mobile SMS adoption trends released

The CWTA just released their quarterly report on SMS use in Canada and the stats are impressive – although on pace with earlier projections.

Here are the highlights: 

  • 1.6 billion SMS messages were sent peer to peer in June alone. This is up from 1.4 in March
  • About 54.1 million messages are now being sent every day 
  • 8.9 billion messages sent year to date – impressive considering last year we had 10.1 billion in total. We are on pace to reach 20 billion by the end of the year
  • 46% of all Canadian wireless subscribers sent at least one peer-to-peer text message – this is up from 42% in March
  • There are currently 442 active common short codes in Canada – used commercially for mobile marketing by brands, agencies, and services

    What was not released but would be interesting to know is how many campaigns are now integrating mobile web with their mobile SMS campaigns.  

    Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of mobile usage data yet available in Canada, but several sources are actively working with representatives of the CWTA to secure access and hopefully provide reports by the beginning of next year.

    October 14, 2008   No Comments