Following the leads of Vodafone New Zealand and Telecom New Zealand, Vodafone Australia is now using the InphoMatch services that allow SMS messages to be exchanged with more than 120 million wireless customers in the United States, Canada, South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Vodafone became the first Australian mobile carrier to offer its customers two-way text messaging to North America on 16 March 2004.
This service directly enables Vodafone's 2.6 million subscribers to exchange SMS messages with a wide range of InphoMatch carrier partners, regardless of what technology is being used.
Prior to partnering with InphoMatch, Vodafone had roaming agreements with three U.S. carriers. This deal expands their wireless reach to include more than 70% of the U.S. and South American markets. "We've opened up the channels so that Vodafone customers can now TXT more people in the U.S. than ever before," said Ian Scherger, Chief Marketing Officer for Vodafone Australia. "This agreement also includes carriers in Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The world is now a little smaller and a lot more accessible."
"This partnership makes it possible for Vodafone's customers to exchange SMS messages with previously unreachable family, friends, and business partners," said Paul Ruppert, InphoMatch's Vice President of International Sales. "Vodafone Australia represents a key step for InphoMatch in the continuing rollout of the Vodafone community of operators, fortifying Vodafone's position in the Aussie market and advancing InphoMatch's wireless reach around the world."
This partnership enables customers using Vodafone Australia's GSM network to send messages to U.S. customers on GSM, CDMA, and TDMA networks after being converted by InphoMatch, and vice versa. While GSM is widely used in Australia, Asia, and Europe, CDMA is the dominant technology in North and South America. Text messages will be charged at the standard text rate of 25 cents Australian (19 U.S. cents).
Through a global agreement clinched with Vodafone LLP in December 2003, Inphomatch provides all carriers of the Vodafone community the means to exchange international SMS text messages with subscribers of participating non-GSM networks using InphoMatch's inter-carrier mobile messaging platform. Since December 2003 Inphomatch has launched the service with Vodafone UK, Vodafone Germany, Vodafone Ireland, Vodafone Italy, Vodafone Netherlands, Vodafone Spain, Vodafone Portugal, Vodafone Sweden, Vodafone New Zealand, and M1 Singapore, a Vodafone marketing partner network. The remaining Vodafone operators will be launching during the course of 2004.