Kirusa Launches a More Affordable Voice SMS Service

On Tuesday, New Jersey-based Kirusa announced that it will be incorporating Dialogic’s Vision VX VoiceXML Server into a number of its services, most notably the Kirusa Voice SMS solution. The integrated solution has already been deployed among some carriers in Asia and Latin America.

Kirusa’s Voice SMS lets a user record a voice message the same way she might send an SMS text message. By pushing the * key followed by a telephone number, she can just speak her message. The solution, in turn, will send an SMS notification to the number that allows the recipient to listen to the message at the push of a button.

Kirusa sees this as particularly useful in driving situations where thumbing out messages on tiny keyboards or fiddling with T9 texting is not only awkward and cumbersome, but has the potential for distaster on the road with the driver’s attentions focused elsewhere.

In these situations, Kirusa argues that voice SMS is a more ergonomic way to relay information and initiate non-real-time conversations than traditional texting. Company officials go on to make the case for voice SMS in general, asserting, “Voice, conveys emotion and tone, and thus can provide a more meaningful and in-depth understanding than a standard SMS text message.”

In its nearly three years of existence, voice SMS has been used by millions of people. The technology has been adopted particularly fast in Europe and Asia, where traditional voice calls are prohibitively expensive and voice SMS provides a more affordable alternative.

The market for all SMS services is also growing rapidly with most of the world’s 2 billion cell phones being SMS-ready. According to research firm Gartner, revenues for all SMS messages could reach $72 billion by 2010. Kirusa likely wants to capitalize on as much of that as possible, and the company is hoping that its partnership with Dialogic will help it do just that.

“The Vision VX VoiceXML Server provides the development speed to bring Voice SMS and additional mobile value-added services rapidly to market,” says Ewald Anderl, chief technology officer at Kirusa.

Kirusa and Dialogic expect to cut their deployment times from months to a matter of weeks. As they launch, VX Server will be managing call traffic from the Kirusa applications, handling the message delivery and billing within an operator’s infrastructure. The VX Server can also support video, which may allow Kirusa to develop video SMS and mobile television products in the future.

Dialogic, for its part, sees the Kirusa partnership as an opportunity to tout its own services. “[This deal] underscores Dialogic product momentum as service providers seek development environments that are easy to use, fast, and flexible enough to support and deploy next-generation services,” says Jim Machi, senior vice president of marketing at Dialogic.  

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