MTN & Aliman Launch Voice Via SMS (VVS)

MTN, a company out of Yeman, has introduced a new technology borrowed from Apliman Technologies which is called “speak and listen” messaging, or voice via SMS (VVS). The company claims it offers a new form of direct communication for its customers as well as a new innovative form of mobile-based marketing.

From the best that I can gather from a very vauge press release, the solution works by allowing a user to speak a message into their device, which is then relayed to the recipient as an SMS message. The recipient can then respond in a similar way. Here’s how they interpret the solution; “it allows a subscriber to exchange short customer to customer audio messages and enables operators to experience increased revenue with a quick return on investment, better branding image, and solid market positioning among competitors.”

The service may work in the other direction as well, by transcribing SMS messages into audio to bypass typing on a small device, which would actually make much more sense. The marketing would obviously have to be in the form of SMS messages, so if text was turned into audio, I’m not sure exactly how advertising could be integrated, unless it was in the form of short commercial-type ads.

I’m looking further into the details of the solution as it seems interesting, but I would imagine it has something to do with the difference in mobile technology and the way things are done in Yeman as opposed to the US. In my opinion, as with other niche ways of communication on a mobile device, I don’t see how the benefits would outweigh simple SMS messaging and phone calls. Seems to me like it’s just another ploy to receive revenue from mobile advertising.