Apr 26, 2011

Exclusive! Instant messaging gains popularity as TXTing declines, BBM to blame

Apparently, those young'uns just love their BBM. According to a report by the research group Mobile Youth, young folk (read: those of you between 15 and 24) are increasingly abandoning SMS in favor of instant messaging apps, with texting expected to drop off 20 percent over the next two years. The main culprit? BlackBerry Messenger, which now boasts over 39 million users, many of them living outside the US. In fact, it's in the UK, Indonesia, South Africa, and Brazil -- all popular markets for BBM -- that Mobile Youth expects texting to dwindle the most. And if BBM is to blame, well, that drop-off could be just the beginning.

AT&T's new cell tower can fit in a suitcase, help restore networks after natural disasters

Whenever a natural disaster strikes, phone companies are typically forced to patch up their own networks with fleets of trucks that serve as temporary cell towers. It's a process that involves plenty of manpower and, most importantly, plenty of time. AT&T has a more portable solution: a cell tower small enough to fit into a suitcase. The company's new Remote Mobility Zone is comprised of an antenna and accompanying satellite dish, both of which can handle up to 14 simultaneous calls placed within a half-mile radius. Any AT&T phone can connect to the makeshift system, which will sell for anywhere between $15,000 and $45,000 (plus some monthly fees), though emergency workers will need a generator to get it up and running. They'll also have to live without 3G data, which sounds like a reasonable compromise to us.


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