Published on August 27th, 2008 | by Babar Bhatti71
Free SMS To Pakistan
This is a follow-up to my popular post on free SMS from web to mobile phones in Pakistan. Well, after all this progress in telecom, we still have this unsolved problem of sending SMS from web to mobile phones in Pakistan. For the large number of Pakistanis who are abroad and want to reach their family and friends in Pakistan, web-based SMS is a much needed and very useful service.
Of course, as is the case with online tools, people are looking for free (could be subsidized by advertisements) or very economical solutions (such as n messages for 1$). I am sure many expat Pakistanis will not mind paying a little bit for this convenience. Obviously, someone has to bear the cost of the development and infrastructure (user facing web application, connecting with the sms gateway and managing the delivery of the messages etc). So do not expect a completely free service or be prepared for ads.
I have written about the existing solutions before. These are Java applet based chat solutions offered by the network operator sites (telenor, ufone etc) and from many other sites. No signup is required. Sadly, there are too many issues and limitations with these and I do not consider them an adequate solution. Some of the problems include: poor user interface, not all phones support this kind of chat, This may not work with all handsets and this service can be blocked by the mobile users. mobile phone recipient has to type YES to start the chat and even after all the effort, the reliability of the system is low.
Then there are many other sites (usually related to mobile entertainment or chat etc) which embed the same Java solution on their site – but with the added annoyance of lots of ads and distractions – so the overall user experience is further degraded.
Recently there has emerged a new class of sms applications which allow you to manage your sms from the web. Signup, setup your contacts and use the web to handle your text messages. For example I have been testing the beta product iSMS.Pk for a while. One of the attractive feature of iSMS is that you can use your email account to signup – so it works well for those who are not in Pakistan. The solution allows you to build an address book and keep track of your conversations – as shown below. To control abuse, they require users to wait a few seconds before sending new messages. They recently did a redesign of their user interface and it looks very neat. They have a facebook application called SMSFriends as well. By the way this is the same team which built See-N-Report.com. This is a good start and I hope that they can add more features (notifications and reminders are in the works already) and reduce the time it takes to deliver and receive a message back. Since iSMS is in beta, let me know if you need an invite.
There are quite of a few other sms solutions out there but I did not have a good experience with them. With a busy life schedule, I want reliable and trustworthy applications. A service which allows me to send quick sms to Pk mobile is high on my list of everyday use, must-have apps. If you have a favorite sms application, do share your experience with us.