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BT hooks up SMS hubbing

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BT's Global Services has signed up Tyntec to provide SMS hub servers for network operators too lazy to sign distribution deals with each other.

BT already provides signalling services, and carries voice traffic, for fixed and mobile operators around the world, but now the company has added SMS hubbing to the range in the solid belief that SMS has another decade or two ahead of it at least.

The technology is coming from UK-based Tyntec, which already counts Skype and O2 among its customers. The service allows a network operator to sign up to the service and hand over their roaming and roamed-to SMS messages for delivery without having to sign agreements with all the various network operators around the world.

When we heard the news we were frankly surprised that BT Global Services didn't already have such an offering: the international standard for SMS hubbing was agreed in 2006 and it would seem like an essential service. BT admits that part of its motivation is to prevent competitors getting a foot in the door with operators, but assured us that messaging is still going to be really important.

BT sells infrastructure into many developing networks, where internet messaging is less of a threat to SMS revenues. But the company reckons there are opportunities in transcoding content in MMS and similar; not to mention that if the oft-mooted mobile payment systems ever get popular then SMS is the most likely carrier given its ubiquity and reliability.

For BT this is a small addition to a large portfolio, but for Tyntec it's a big deal and should save a lot of operators a lot of time. ®

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