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"Wireless Review" Solutions Testbed (Feb-2002 p.32):

SMS solutions are many, but will they eventually work together? That's where new ventures such as the partnering of The Management Network Group and inCode Telecom Group come in handy. The two companies have formed an independent next-generation testing lab that will allow carriers to test interoperability.

The lab will be managed by inCode and will be overseen by an advisory council in which both inCode and TMNG have a seat. One priority of the lab's advisory council, which is comprised of C-level execs at the top service providers, is to fix SMS, said Ron Angner, TMNG partner. Carriers not only view SMS as a revenue generator if it is fixed, but they count on a huge pent-up consumer demand.

TMNG and inCode are focused on developing not only compatibility testing (in a neutral environment), but also a sort of clearinghouse that combines the routing and settlements functions.

This will strongly benefit the Tier II players by letting them provide intercompany SMS with a modest investment and on a pay-per-byte basis.

Angner said the preliminary work is at the intracompany level, where the "Cingulars of the world" - which grew through acquisition - are facing serious interoperability issues. Things have gotten so bad that even if a message gets through, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll be able to bill for it.