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IM billing: session or subscription?

While it may be positioned as an evolution from SMS, it seems unlikely that mobile instant messaging (IM) will use the same pricing structure in the long term.

At least that is the opinion of Matt Hooper, EVP of marketing at Colibria, an international player in the field of mobile instant messaging and presence.

“If you look at the pricing models,” he said, “you’ve really got three for IM. [Firstly] there’s good old event-based pricing like SMS. I think the feeling is in the marketplace that that is not the best way to go for IM in terms of suitability to the actual communication medium.”

Hooper feels that session-based pricing based on communication exchange, and subscription – all you can eat for a fixed period of time – both have better chances of staying the IM course.

The subscription system is particularly attractive, Hooper said, “because it offers transparency and the subscriber does not have to worry about the cost of each message. It may be the one that wins through in the end,” he said.

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