Compliance Note: Registration of Sender ID with Italian Communications Authority-- 07 November 2013
New Sender ID ruling for SMS messages sent to Italy - A new resolution for sending SMS messaging to Italy came into effect on 15 October 2013. The rule requires that the senders of bulk SMS messages register their Sender ID with AGCOM, the Italian Communications Authority, as per AGCOM Resolution No. 42/13/CIR NRA entitled: Rules for Testing of Indicators for Alphanumeric identification of the Subject in the caller SMS/MMS used for Messaging Services. A Sender ID cannot be used if it has not been registered on AGCOM’s database.
Compliance Note: Requirements for marketing using SMS messaging in the USA -- 19 September 2013
The Federal Communications Commission has issued rules to ensure consumer protection in regard to commercial SMS messaging; that is the sending of marketing text messages to mobile phones. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and CAN-SPAM Act are the applicable laws regulating marketing using SMS messaging in the United States of America.
Sorting through the mess of messaging -- 05 September 2013
Instant messaging (IM) applications have taken the world by storm. The likes of Skype, WhatsApp and Viber allow groups and individuals to ‘chat’ in real-time, exchange images, video clips and links to websites. IM has become widely accepted by consumers, particularly smartphone users, and nowadays people are constantly glued to their applications to keep up-to-date on the latest gossip and events.
Business win thanks to the intro of an SMS interconnect fee -- 26 June 2013
Businesses that shrugged their shoulders in resignation at the thought of an increase in SMS costs thanks to the introduction of an A2P SMS interconnect fee are in for a pleasant surprise. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the arrival of an SMS interconnect fee generally results in lowered prices, and exactly that has happened in South Africa. In addition, businesses can expect SMS quality to improve as well.
SMS remains the best channel for business messaging -- 05 June 2013
Some commentators on the state of the SMS messaging industry point to the death of SMS as a communications medium. This may be true for global consumer use of SMS messaging in the face of newer communication technologies but these prophecies of SMS’s doom are overstated when looking how SMS continues to be integral for business messaging.
BulkSMS helps drive customer service excellence for Dash2do | Case study -- 29 May 2013
Dash2do.com is a self-service online platform that provides inidivuals and businesses with services to create more time and improve efficiency. It bases its competitive advantage on the provision of customer service excellence. In pursuit of this strategy the company looked to BulkSMS.com’s text messaging solution which is now integral to the business on all levels from accepting bookings to assigning people to staff bookings, and finally billing the client for the work done. Bulk SMS is helping build trust in its brand as the ‘concierge service of choice’.
Updates, notifications, alerts – whatever way you look at it, texting can build business -- 14 May 2013
We’re living in a mobile age where texting is second nature to most people with a mobile phone and text messaging is increasingly used for business communications. Short message services (SMS) open up a number of capabilities for businesses of any size to deliver information to customers that keeps them in the loop and offers customer satisfaction. Dr Pieter Streicher, Managing Director of BulkSMS.com, a provider of messaging services to businesses, discusses the latest developments in SMS communications.
Getting into the swing of POPI -- 06 May 2013
Keeping track of the latest version of impending legislation as it makes its way though the South African parliamentary system can be a nigh on impossible task. So prepping your business for upcoming law – such as the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Bill – can be a challenging and stop-start affair.
What 2013 will bring for the SMS industry -- 16 January 2013
2013 will be a pivotal year for the South African SMS industry as the issue of interconnect fees is resolved, and mobile networks charge each other for terminating application-to-person (A2P) SMS messages, doing away with the vagaries of the gentlemen’s agreement between the operators that maintain the status quo. Technically, we’re going to see SMS become a more dynamic communications medium incorporating rich media interactivity. Consumers using paid for mobile content subscription services are going to be better protected with double opt-in capabilities introduced by all the mobile operators.
Application-to-Person SMS Messaging: A key link in the value chain -- 09 January 2013
Text messaging is second nature to mobile users - a received technology that people understand. It is also quick, easy and low cost and as a business communications tool, its star is still rising. It is estimated that application-to-person (A2P) messaging will overtake person-to-person (P2P) messaging by 2016.
The SMS year in review -- 07 January 2013
This was the year when the SMS interconnect fee issue finally came to a head, with Cell C forcing the issue by breaking the existing gentlemen’s agreement between the network operators. It also saw the opt-in/opt-out debate being settled with the forthcoming passing of the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) – happily key clauses were not as watered down as initially feared. And in a major step forward, Vodacom’s double opt-in capabilities have had a dramatic impact on reducing the number of complaints about subscription service sign ups.
Is permission-based SMS marketing a half-filled glass? -- 05 October 2012
It seems surprising that it is still necessary to encourage brands to embrace personalised permission-based SMS marketing given all the advantages of this approach and the technical advances that have made the practice easy and manageable today. But unfortunately many companies are still stuck in a broadcast-only paradigm resulting in annoyed customers, loss of brand equity in the market, and SMS communication as a marketing channel being seen in a poor light. Read more on whether or not permission-based marketing is a half-filled glass. or download the print friendly PDF version.
Five ways your cellphone camera cam keep you safe on your trip -- 17 September 2012
Did you know there are 4.2 billion cellphone cameras in the world, taking something like 380 billion photos a year? Here are five tips, on how you can put your cellphone camera to good use, to keep you and your family safe this trip.
Unsubscribe requests for Mobile Content Services plummet -- 28 August 2012
Since the introduction of the Vodacom double opt-in system, Vodacom consumer unsubscribe requests forwarded by the mobile network to WASPA have reduced by 70%. This is a positive step in ensuring that consumers are only billed for subscription services they consent to use. Read more on why unsubscribe requests for mobile content services are plummeting or download the print friendly PDF version.
Major changes in the A2P SMS messaging industry -- 28 August 2012
Recently, Cell C began allowing all WASPs to terminate A2P SMS messages onto other networks. Consumers on the Vodacom and MTN network are starting to receive A2P SMS messages from numbers starting with +2784000. However, it appears that Cell C has enabled a reply path to these messages to only one WASP. This is set to undermine the "gentlemen's agreement" between all incumbent mobile network operators. Read more or Download the print friendly PDF version.
Urgent call to consumers to report SMS spam -- 08 August 2012
SMS spam really gets people up in arms. You can understand why. Cellphones are personal devices: held in our hands or carried with us and usually switched on 24/7. In addition, we usually read and respond to SMS's much faster than emails or even voice calls – making it that much more annoying when a newly arrived message announces an unwanted cellphone deal or insurance offer from a company you have never dealt with before.
A2P SMS messaging continues to grow -- 04 June 2012
There is no doubt that person-to-person (P2P) messaging has been impacted by the rise in popularity of mobile instant messaging (MIM), particularly iMessage, BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp and Mxit. While these MIM applications offer a far cheaper way of communicating between individuals, these messaging technologies do not provide business-ready applications to communicate with staff, suppliers, customers, or consumers. This is where application-to-person (A2P) SMS messaging becomes an important investment for businesses today. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Help protect the valuable SMS -- 01 May 2012
Despite SMS’s amazing longevity and the ability to adapt it for a range of personal and business communication needs over the last two decades, SMS is not immune to misuse that may result in devaluing it as a communications channel. This is why it is imperative that businesses and consumers fight to maintain the integrity of SMS messaging or risk losing it due to inboxes overflowing with spam. In this article, we discuss the best way to protect the SMS. Download the print friendly PDF version.
SMS - Making the Most of Messaging -- 01 May 2012
With mobile phone penetration now around 85% worldwide, the strategic use of SMS offers significant benefits for companies and organisations that can get it right. Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, believes that SMS helps to build relationships and create customer loyalty by offering timely and worthwhile information. In this article, we offers businesses 5 top tips to SMS success. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Savvy South African Schools use SMS -- 16 February 2011
A Cape Town mom is more than a little displeased with her children’s primary school. During the recent heat wave in the Western Cape, the school cancelled athletics practice due to the extreme temperatures. The teachers went home and children, under the age of 13, had to wait alone outside the school in the heat until their parents picked them up at the time the sports practice was meant to end. The school had no way to alert the parents of the change of plans when they decided to cancel athletics at the last minute. Read more on how a savvy South African school uses SMS to communicate with parents. Download the print friendly PDF version.
All SMS direct marketing contravenes the Consumer Protection Act (South Africa)-- 25 January 2012
The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) allows sending unsolicited direct marketing communications (which is commonly seen as spam by many consumers) under certain conditions. However, if one looks more closely, it turns out that it is simply not possible to comply with these conditions with SMS communications. Until free opt-out becomes possible, it is technically illegal to send both unsolicited direct marketing as well as solicited direct marketing via SMS. It should be noted that the CPA does not distinguish between unsolicited and solicited direct marketing. Read more on how all SMS direct marketing contravenes the Consumer Protection Act. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Watershed year for SMS approaching -- 05 December 2011
2012 is the year the electronic communications opt-in vs opt-out debate is going to come to a head, and the fallout is going to have a significant impact on both businesses and consumers. Related telecommunication regulatory decisions are going to affect both the price of SMS, as well as the amount of SMS spam consumers receive every day – directly impacting the efficacy of the medium. Read more on our SMS predictions for 2012. Download the print friendly PDF version.
The Indian SMS ban | Lessons for South Africa 30 November 2011
When Spanco, a power provider to the city of Nagpur in central India, was forced to start load shedding in October 2011 it was unable to send SMS notifications to the 225,000 customers who had provided their mobile numbers. According to an official from Spanco speaking to the Times of India, despite publicity about the load shedding many customers were still unaware of it and the company was inundated with calls from angry customers complaining about power cuts. In addition, the company was no longer able to send customers acknowledgements of bill payments or complaint reference numbers by SMS. Read more on what South Africa can learn from the SMS ban in India. Download the print friendly PDF version.
SMS plays Santa and ensures gifts are delivered to underprivileged children -- 22 November 2011
The Santa Shoebox Project, which annually organises Christmas gifts from members of the public for underprivileged children, has grown from 180 Santa Shoeboxes in 2006, to a whopping 70,200 gifts collected from 36 locations in 2011. Along with this growth has come a range of logistical challenges so this year the organisers put SMS to the test to aid communication with its donors. Read more on on how the Santa Shoebox Project put SMS to the test. Download the print friendly PDF version.
SMS the crime fighter -- 31 October 2011
With SMS being so suited to sending alerts quickly and easily to a group of people, its capability and usefulness as a crime fighting tool is not to be under-estimated. Probably the best-known application of SMS in the fight against crime in South Africa is Primedia’s Crime Line, an anonymous crime tip-off line via SMS that has made 1, 106 arrests and R39, 579 928 in seizures since its inception on the 6th June 2007. Read more on how SMS is used in the fight against crime. Download the print friendly PDF version.
The Importance of SMS in an Instant Messaging world -- 09 September 2011
While a cat has nine lives, it seems that SMS has an infinite number of lives. So while the rise in mobile instant messaging (MIM) has been heralded as its end, a closer look shows that this rather increases SMS’s value in the corporate space. Read more on the importance of SMS in an Instant Messaging world. Download the print friendly PDF version.
SMS messaging alerts help AdInfa green the future -- 26 August 2011
In an increasingly energy conscious world, AdInfa (www.adinfa.com) has developed InSite, a technology solution that allows data centres to monitor their IT equipment energy consumption. This is crucial in providing a business case for optimising operational efficiencies and reducing energy bills and carbon footprint. The InSite system is enabled to send automated SMS alerts to companies when pre-determined or unpredicted critical events occur in the monitoring of their data centre infrastructure. Read more on how AdInfa SMS enabled their IT systems. Download the print friendly PDF version.
The death of opted-in Communications -- 16 August 2011
The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Bill is at serious risk of being watered down to such an extent that it is rendered ineffective and meaningless when it comes to preventing consumers from receiving email and SMS spam. The Bill, which has been under discussion since 2009, sets out to establish the minimum requirements for the lawful processing of personal information, i.e. how it is captured, processed and stored by organisations, and gives citizens legal recourse should their personal information be abused. Read more on the POPI Bill and the death of opted-in communications. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Veteran Technology shows its longevity -- 03 August 2011
It seems a bit crazy to call a technology that is coming up for its twentieth birthday a “veteran”. But if you consider the massive explosion of digital communications technology over the past few years, you start to realise just how long SMS has been around for. Read more on how SMS, a veteran technology, shows its longevity. Download the print friendly PDF version.
mHealth needs to be network neutral to flourish -- 04 July 2011
As we’ve started to see in South Africa and across the rest of the continent, the potential for mobile-enabled healthcare is enormous. Evidence from the GSMA Mobile Health Summit held in Cape Town at the start of June shows that mobile operators are currently leading the pack in this space. Going forward, however, it is vital that the balance of power shifts from the mobile industry to the healthcare sector, to allow the burgeoning mHealth sector to reach its full potential. Read more on mHealth needs to be network neutral in order to flourish. Download the print friendly PDF version.
The Pros and Cons of using SMS in an emergency -- 23 June 2011
SMS is the perfect emergency communications channel, right? People always have their phones with them, especially in an emergency; you can easily send one message to a number of people; and you can text when you can’t talk. In many countries, SMS is even being considered by the authorities as an alternative emergency channel which the public can contact, equivalent to 911 in the U.S. and 10111 in South Africa. Read more on the Pros and Cons of using SMS in an emergency. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Edging towards viable anti-spam legislation -- 20 June 2011
Over the last few years, South African legislation has slowly started catching up with electronic communications, and would hopefully provide the final piece of the puzzle to both protect consumers and allow businesses to continue to market directly to people in an ethical way. Unfortunately, recent amendments to the Bill, thanks to lobbying by direct marketers, have watered it down substantially, especially when it comes to email and SMS marketing. Read more on how we are edging towards viable anti-spam legislation. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Taking the fight against child trafficking online -- 14 June 2011
Communications technology, such as the internet and mobile phones, certainly make life easier: from online banking, to staying in touch, to news and weather on the go, and all the other benefits that have become such an integral part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, the same technology has also made it easier for criminals to prey on the young for purposes such as child trafficking. Read more on how to take the fight against child trafficking online. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Text messages help build tradesmen reputation -- 13 June 2011
Checkatrade was established in 1998 by local businessman Kevin Byrne after a tornado damaged hundreds of buildings in Selsey, West Sussex. Checkatrade was started in order to protect homeowners from being deceived by rogue operators and to help them make informed decisions when selecting a service provider. Read more on how how text messages help to build tradesmen reputations. Download the print friendly PDF version.
How South African companies can avoid becoming a spammer under the CPA -- 08 June 2011
There is no denying that the launch of a “do not contact registry” to allow South African customers to permanently opt-out of all unsolicited marketing communications is a massive step forward for consumer rights. But customers need to understand the limitations of the mechanism, companies need to be ready to comply with the new law, and especially smaller companies need to consider the implications of having to regularly query the database. Read more on what you can do to avoid becoming a spammer under the CPA. Download the print friendly PDF version.
SMS and Social Media – the new canary in a coal mine -- 06 June 2011
Today the early warning for a government in trouble seems to be when the rulers in question clamp down on electronic communication, especially Social Media and SMS. We’ve seen it happen across the African continent and further afield, starting with Mozambique and India in 2010, and then this year in Egypt, Tunisia and Cameroon. In fact Ethiopia got the ball rolling back in 2005, with a two-year SMS ban after election violence. Read more on why electronic communication, in all its shapes and guises, is here to stay. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Internet World Exhibition -- 04 May 2011
BulkSMS.com will have a stand at the Internet World exhibition taking place at Earls Court 2 in London from the 10th to the 12th May 2011. Please come and visit us at stand number E6082. We will be there from 9.30am to 5pm on the 10th and 11th of May and 9.30am to 4pm on the 12th of May. We will be showcasing and demonstrating the BulkSMS text messaging services including our new iPhone app. Please Register for free now and save £30 at the door.
Banning of SMS services adds fuel to protests -- May 2011
Today, access to high-tech communications is accepted as integral to modern life. When the ability to communicate using a digital communication channel such as SMS is banned in a country for political reasons, people inside and outside that country take umbrage to the denial of services. Yet, these attempts by governments to limit communications are an indication of the power of mobile and Internet based technologies to help foster revolution. Read more on how the banning of SMS services adds fuel to protests. Download the print friendly PDF version.
A step in the right direction for mobile payments -- 22 March 2011
Mobile payments for mobile subscription services are receiving much news of late due to negative consumer sentiment over unsolicited billings. An imminent change in the way that Vodacom customers sign up for third party mobile subscription services is good news for consumers and paves the way towards building increased confidence in mobile payments. Another important development is the recent law that states that mobile network operators should put in place the ability to block a handset from requesting any subscription services. Read more on how we are taking the a step in the right direction for mobile payments. Download the print friendly PDF version.
SMS and smartphones: SMS shows its resilience once again -- 22 February 2011
Time and time again SMS is the technological exception to the rule. Not only is it incredibly resistant to downward price pressure, which has seen it immune to the dramatic price drops in the tech world over the last 10 years, it also refuses to be usurped by newer technologies. Read more on how SMS shows its resilience once again. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Romancing your phone -- 11 February 2011
In the spirit of Valentines Day, BulkSMS.com conducted a dipstick survey using a new media channel in January 2011. Of the fifty-one South Africans who responded, the majority were from the Western Cape and the remainder from Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. All respondents were aged between 18 to 50 years. Read the findings of BulkSMS’s Valentines Day survey. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Let your text glide you | Wendy Windblows -- 08 February 2011
Rod developed the Wendy Windblows service, a weather data collection service, in the late 1980’s after arriving one too many times at a hang gliding site after driving hours to get there, only to find that the weather conditions were not conducive to flying. He wished that there was some way to find this out BEFORE leaving the house. Read how Wendy Windblows adopted SMS as a communications tool. Download the print friendly PDF version.
The year ahead for SMS -- December 2010
2011 Is the year South African consumers become amongst the best protected in the world thanks to two important new laws. Far from seeing this as a threat, businesses should see this as a huge opportunity for improved customer communications, especially if they have SMS included in the mix. Read more on what 2011 has in store for SMS. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Change in VAT Charges -- 15 December 2010
The Chancellor announced in his 2010 Emergency Budget an increase in the standard rate of VAT from 17.5% to 20% effective from 4 January 2011. BulkSMS will be implementing this VAT change on 4 January.
Wendy Windblows wins the BulkSMS UK Messaging Awards -- 14 December 2010
The BulkSMS Messaging Awards were run in October of this year as part of BulkSMS.com’s tenth year anniversary celebrations. Clients were invited to submit entries detailing their use of text messaging and the top three finalists were awarded with BulkSMS credits as prizes. Read more. Download the print friendly PDF version.
SMS Changes the Game -- December 2010
According to Clay Shirky, renowned digital media commentator, “communication tools don’t become socially interesting until they become technologically boring.” Now while I’ll never consider SMS boring, I’d argue that SMS has become so entrenched in our day-to-day lives that it meets this criterion, and has not only become socially interesting, but is impacting our society in significant ways. Read how SMS Changes the Game. Download the print friendly PDF version.
AAA School of Advertising – Case Study -- December 2010
AAA School realised that the scholars they were targeting did not always have access to a computer or an email address but they did have a cellphone, and were happy to give out their cellphone number. This meant that AAA School could get hold of them via SMS. Read how the AAA School of Advertising is using SMS. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Keeping your child safe, despite the digital generation gap -- November 2010
When we were children the standing joke was that the kids, had to set the video machine for their non-technical parents. We’d grown up with video machines, while for our parents they were still new-fangled devices. Read the article on how to keep your child safe, despite the digital generation gap. Download the print friendly PDF version.
Think before you click: tips for safe purchasing on the Internet from your cell phone -- November 2010
While your cell phone has access to the same Internet that your PC has access to, it also carries a link to your phone bill and this combination affords new billing mechanisms to content providers. This change can catch consumers unaware and could result in unexpected cell phone charges. Read through the Tips for safe purchasing on the internet from your cell phone. Download the print friendly PDF version.
SMS improves communications for the Deaf -- Tuesday, 09 November 2010
Up until the beginning of the twentieth century, the island of Martha’s Vineyard, off the east coast of the USA, had twenty times more Deaf inhabitants for its population size than the rest of the country. But the islanders didn’t consider this hereditary Deafness a disability because the entire community, both hearing and Deaf, were proficient in sign language and this removed any communication barriers and made being Deaf a non-issue. Read the article on how SMS improves communications for the deaf. Download the print friendly PDF version
Mobile phone designers challenged to keep up with users -- July 2010
Mobile phone handset designers should look to social networking for inspiration to improve the management of communications on phones, says BulkSMS.com’s managing director, Pieter Streicher. He maintains that it is ridiculous that many aspects of the mobile phone user interface haven’t changed in ten years, especially when it comes to contact management and SMS functionality. Read more on how mobile phone designers are challenged to keep up with users.
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New-look BulkSMS.com website launched today. -- June 19, 2010
We have given our brand a bit of a makeover and improved the look and feel of the website. While things may look slightly different, our reliable and easy to use SMS messaging services remain the same.
Recent trends in commercial text messaging -- May 10, 2010
Businesses are increasingly turning to text messaging services to enhance new and existing customers’ experience with their brand or service. The main trends in commercial text messaging are promotional campaigns and information services as well as notifications, alerts and reminders. Read the press release detailing the most recent trends in commercial messaging.
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Texting will not make you stupid -- April 2010
SMS language or ‘textspeak’ is taking a lot of flack for the general misuse of the English language today – both in spelling and grammar. But is it all negative? People are too quick to blame SMS technology for a rise in incorrect spelling and grammar use, and are failing to see the opportunities that can come from it. Read the article on why texting will not make you stupid. Download the print friendly PDF version
Text messaging delivers results for the Hever Castle Triathlon -- January 29, 2010
The organisers of the Hever Castle Triathlon successfully used text messaging as part of their communications strategy to keep competitors informed about race details and results. In addition, the mobile channel filled the gap between online and traditional promotions by providing a direct means of marketing to participants. Read the press release on how text messaging delivered results for the Hever Castle Triathlon.
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Does your school get its message across? -- January 15, 2010
Did you bundle yourself and your kids up, ice skate to the car, drive slowly but steadily to the school, endangering the lives of your precious cargo as well as other motorists, only to arrive at the school and find out that the school has been closed for a “snow day”?
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way that your child’s school could have communicated this “snow day” to you before you even got into your car in the first place? Saving you from jeopardizing those you love (and even those you don’t know) from the chaotic landscape that has been all around us in the last few weeks. Read the press release on how text messaging can help schools get their message across.
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BulkSMS will have a stand at the Business Startup Exhibition taking place at the Olympia in London on 26-27 November 2009. Please come and visit us at stand number 605. We will be there from 10am to 5pm on both days, showcasing and demonstrating the BulkSMS text messaging software. We will be offering free credits to visitors to our stand.
For more information on the exhibition please see: www.bstartup.com.
Widespread adoption of bulk SMS messaging by schools -- August 3, 2009
Many schools have adopted bulk SMS messaging to improve communications with parents of school-goers. The traditional communication channels were all problematic in that notes sent to parents via learners often got lost; calling a number of parents telephonically can be very time consuming and; not all parents have access to e-mail and the internet. Read the press release on the Widespread adoption of bulk SMS messaging by schools.
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SMS messaging has a bright future -- July 28, 2009
Businesses confidence in SMS messaging continues to increase as messaging industry revenues are forecasted to grow despite the global downturn in the markets. Read the press release on why SMS messaging has a bright future.
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BulkSMS at the Business Startup Exhibition in London-- May 15, 2009
BulkSMS will have a stand at the Business Startup Exhibition taking place at ExCeL London on 28-29 May 2009.
Please come and visit us at stand number 260. We will be there from 10am to 5pm on both days, showcasing and demonstrating the BulkSMS text messaging software. We will be offering free credits to visitors to our stand.
For more information on the exhibition please see: www.bstartup.com.