Want to connect with colleagues quickly and save money while doing it? Mountain View, California, Handspring employee Brian Jaquet relies on SMS messages from his wireless Treo 270 PDA--especially when trying to reach co-workers in Europe.
Although Treo also sports a cell phone and e-mail, an SMS burst is quicker, says Jaquet, and it avoids per-minute voice charges--international or otherwise.
While carrier incompatibility has slowed U.S. adoption, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, Verizon and VoiceStream subscribers can now message each other. Sprint PCS and Nextel subscribers are limited to their own networks.
Most new handsets have SMS; inexpensive monthly and per-message plans are available. Also, most networks let you receive messages for free. Messages are limited to 140 to 160 characters, but that's often just about right. PDAs with thumb-type keyboards like Treo or RIM BlackBerry are downright fast.
According to IDC, by this time next year, 8 million of us will be sending SMS notes.
Erik P. Nelson is a technology writer in San Francisco and a frequent contributor to Entrepreneur.
189 Bernardo Ave., Mountain View, CA 94043, (650) 230-5000