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The race to deliver SMS services over landlines is hotting up, with Logica throwing its hat into the ring.

Today it launched a new service called the Fixed Line Short Message Service (FSMC), which will - through landline telco customers - offer punters the ability to send and receive text messages to other fixed line and mobile users. Logica is claiming an industry first for the technology, but obviously it needs to find customers to turn this into mass market reality. Today's announcement is not accompanied by any customer wins.

That means accessing content from mobile and internet services, such as ring tone and logo downloads. And it also means operators can work up premium rate texting. Logica has a voice gateway, but for the full experience, telco operators will need to upsell customers to SMS-enabled terminals. We don't think that will be too difficult - do you?

Of course, operators could lose out on lower voice revenues, and also there could be some cannibalisation of SMS phone revenues. But Logica's argument that fixed line texting will mean a bigger market overall for messaging revenues appears sound. The company points out that fixed line texting will also draw in new customer segments such as old people and 'parents' (essentially they mean most people over 34-35).

Logica is a major supplier of SMS software to the mobile phone industry (here's a list of SMS contracts and suppliers in Europe) . But it has not been successful in winning too many contracts for nextgen picture-rich MMS services. So the fixed-line market is major opportunity for this company. ®

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