Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/27/hotxt_richard/
'Dragon' unveils flat-fee text service
Like Skype, but for SMS
A new flat-fee SMS service has been launched today that's being billed as a text version of Skype.
Skype has helped shake up the phone industry with its internet telephony (VoIP) service. Those behind Hotxt - which routes text messages over the net - reckon their service will be able to do the same.
Targeted at 16-25 year olds, Hotxt offers punters the chance to send as many texts as they like for just £1 a week. The catch is that this inclusive price is subject to network data charges and texts to people not on the Hotxt network cost more. Even so, the firm reckons that while the cost of a regular text is typically somewhere between 5-12p a message, the average Hotxt charge is just a fraction of a penny.
Co-founded by Doug Richard, the entrepreneur featured in the BBC programme Dragon's Den fame, the Hotxt business model is based on providing a low cost weekly subscription and attracting mass volume of users to the service.
For it to work, users need to install a Hotxt application onto their phone which works on all Java-enabled phones across all UK networks apart from pre-pay 02 and 3.
Once loaded, messages are sent to a personal Hotxt Tag rather than a mobile number and access to the service is protected by PIN. Unwanted senders can easily be blocked offering users protection from text bullying, text pests and spam.
Said Richard: "Hotxt will change the way UK mobile phone users text in much the same way that Internet use has changed since it moved from a pay as you use to an unlimited model net use changed dramatically as consumers weren't shackled to a usage limit or worried about over use."
In a bid to build its community of users quickly new subscribers are being offered free use of Hotxt for two weeks. ®