Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Friday, November 10, 2006

urgent calls indicator (idea #105)

When I hold workshops for operators I divide value-added services into basic categories. One category - usually the first - is "enhanced voice". It seems to me an amazing feat that after nearly two decades of mobile telephony (and over a century of regular telephony) we are still stuck with the same basic voice features we started with - dial a number and hit a green button.

In my earlier posting about downloadable ring tones within the ring tone selector app itself, one commentator pointed out that this is exactly what MSN Messenger does today, which is true (with downloadable winks). Many things are already done well on the Internet, but in the so-called "Mobile Internet" the good stuff seldom seems to port across. For example, when I send an email I can mark it as urgent. This, of course, is an old idea carried over from the "snail mail" world - the red "urgent" stamp on the front of the envelope.

I have yet to see the "urgent button" for making a phone call. It seems an obvious thing to offer callers. A callee could control how urgent calls get processed, but at least they would get the option of knowing that a call is urgent. Marking anything urgent is always open to abuse (although I think that the "urgent email" fad has worn off in companies as many users have matured in their discretionary use of such tools). In some cases, it might be an idea to have the handling of urgent calls subject to a corporate policy framework. For example, it might be made difficult to "ignore" urgent calls from a particular number (which might be useful for parent-child relationships too).

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