Text crosses the Atlantic

22 Dec 2003

Irish mobile users can now send and receive text messages from friends and family in North America using the Verizon CDMA network as a result of a major deal signed between Vodafone in Europe and New Zealand with Verizon Wireless in the US.

The transatlantic text messaging service will be introduced on a phased basis in the US and 10 of Vodafone’s GSM networks in Europe, including Ireland, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

The service is now available to Vodafone’s Irish customers and an SMS from Ireland to the US costs 25 cent.

Each text message sent travels between GSM and CDMA networks and is converted by US vendor InphoMatch before being forwarded to the recipient’s handset. Testing of the process has indicated that the conversion process and message delivery occurs within seconds.

New Jersey-headquartered Verizon is the leading provider of wireless communications in the US and has the largest nationwide voice and data network with more than 36 million customers.

Peter Bamford, the chief marketing officer at Vodafone, added: “The existing collaboration between Verizon Wireless and Vodafone continues to flourish and is now moving into new areas. The introduction of this new era of transatlantic text messaging services is a clear indication to our customers that, as well as introducing innovative new global multimedia services, we continue to improve our existing service offerings.”

By John Kennedy