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Mobile Devices as Voting Machines
Posted: 01-Apr-2009 [Source: VeriSign]

[VeriSign offers it mobile market predictions including one that mobile devices could be used for voting purposes in the U.S. by 2012.]

Las Vegas -- Mobile devices could be used for voting purposes in the United States by 2012, according to market predictions made by the Messaging and Mobile Media division of VeriSign, Inc., the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world.

Among its top five predictions, VeriSign expects:

-- Mobile government will become more popular as citizens seek real-time access to their elected officials.

-- More financial institutions will offer mobile banking and payments as a value-added service to customers.

-- Donations using mobile devices will grow in popularity, eventually overtaking online donations.

"Barack Obama's presidential campaign last year demonstrated the popularity and potential for the type of personalized information and services people have come to value and expect these days," said Charles Landry, vice president and general manager, products and innovation, for VeriSign's Messaging and Mobile Media division. "With other mobile applications such as banking and donations picking up steam, SMS is becoming the pervasive communications medium of the 21st century, which necessitates all the various players in the channel to work together to deliver reliability and security to the network that delivers these applications."

VeriSign's market predictions include:

1. 10 percent of the population will interact with the government using mobile devices by 2012

The era of mobile government has arrived in the United States. Mobile devices provide an important communication channel between government and its citizens. We will see mobile voting trials emerging on the local level, as demonstrated in the United Kingdom, giving way to widespread use of the mobile channel as one of several unique voting methods to help increase voter turnout by 2016. By the end of President Obama's first term in 2012, use of SMS to exchange information and opinions, as well as promote accountability and transparency, will become mainstream, with at least 10 percent of the U.S. population using their mobile device to interact with government. Applications can include status information that can be pushed by the government or pulled by end-users, such as tax filings and refunds, driving tickets, library books, driver's license and passports.

2. Mobile messaging will continue to penetrate the enterprise

In 2009, there will be over 1.5 billion standard and premium Application-to-Person (A2P) messages delivered per month in the United States, almost double the number of what we saw in 2008. Financial institutions, one of the key verticals included in A2P messaging, will continue to realize the value of the mobile channel. As they look to compete in a tough economic environment, they will look towards the ubiquity and reach of SMS to offer mobile banking to all their customers. Of the top 20 U.S. banks, 75 percent will have launched SMS mobile banking in 2009. Also, the growing need for mobile payments and transactions will push financial institutions to offer a richer experience to their mobile-savvy users. Based on VeriSign's research and customer feedback, more than 25 percent of Tier 1 financial institutions will offer SMS-based notifications for payments and remittances in 2010.

3. Mobile location-based services (LBS) will grow to 20 percent adoption in 2011

According to industry research, LBS adoption currently stands at 7 percent. In the past 12 months, all major U.S. carriers launched on-deck, user initiated "pull" LBS services, such as navigation or search. Over the next 12-24 months, as the parties involved in this ecosystem work together to resolve issues such as consumer privacy, spam protection and service monetization, we will see an increase in both innovative new applications and consumer adoption. Carriers will launch new on- and off-deck LBS services that "push" relevant information to end-users, based on their location and preferences. These services will spur new messaging opportunities in a client-less environment (WAP, SMS and MMS) for push-based applications, such as mobile advertisement/coupon/promotion services, which are better targeted based on a consumer's location and their inclination to purchase at that moment.

4. Mobile social networking presents growth opportunities for carriers and destinations

2009 will be a breakout year for carriers and social networking destinations to finally work together to meet user needs, while addressing the issues and concerns that have held back the growth of mobile social networking to this point. With the integration of user-friendly interfaces into smartphones, and a focus on breaking down the siloed environment between social networking sites, users will finally have opportunities for ubiquitous interaction with all of their favorite social networking destinations. In addition, social networking will utilize the unique nature of the mobile environment to provide real-time relevance to the messages shared between the user and their social network.

5. $5 million will be raised for charities through the mobile channel

More than $5 million will be raised in 2009 through mobile charitable giving, according to VeriSign and the Mobile Giving Foundation. This underlines the trend of consumers' increasing preference for microdonations, which enables them to continue to contribute to worthy causes despite the current tough economic climate. The microdonation model also appeals to the Generation Y and "Millennial" age groups, who are the most likely adopters of new, innovative ways to do things. In addition, the first year of mobile giving, 2008, outpaced the first year of online donations, with charities primarily soliciting one-time donations from the public. In 2009, these charitable organizations will increasingly utilize the mobile channel to establish an ongoing relationship with their donors by providing them with an additional opt-in option to sign up for organization news and events through SMS alerts. In addition, personalized, integrated marketing will continue to help increase mobile donation numbers and overall response percentages.

VeriSign's Messaging and Mobile Media Division delivers messages on behalf of carriers and content providers around the world. VeriSign's combined mobile messaging networks (P2P and A2P) connect to more than 700 carriers in more than 200 countries and reach more than 3 billion wireless subscribers -- a network that generates billions of dollars in revenue for its customers.

About VeriSign Messaging and Mobile Media

VeriSign Messaging and Mobile Media is a division of VeriSign, the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Through this business unit, VeriSign provides global application services that reliably delivers short-messages (SMS), multimedia messages (MMS), and mobile content across wireless operators and mobile devices throughout the world. As a leader in mobile messaging, mobile banking and mobile content delivery, VeriSign offers a broad portfolio of mobile infrastructure and delivery services. Offering reliable delivery, a worldwide presence, and rapid and effective deployment, VeriSign has built a trusted and respected brand with global mobile operators, media content providers and enterprises. The reach, reliability and value add of VeriSign services enable these companies to capitalize on the rapidly growing messaging and media content markets.


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