Communications between people are largely dictated by the device on hand. When on a wireline or mobile phone, the choice is generally voice; when using a PC or PDA, the choice is usually text. But the mobile user has the added advantage of using text in addition to voice via text messaging. SMS text messaging between mobile subscribers has exploded over the last few years, especially among young subscribers who use text messaging as a fast and efficient way to reach their friends and family. However, significant disadvantages of text messaging include the time it takes to type out a message using the limited mobile phone keypad and the lack of emotion that only a voice can deliver. Many resort to the cryptic computer-speak prevalent in computer messaging today, leaving a mobile user in receipt of these abbreviated messages at a disadvantage.
Voice SMS is a fast way to send a short message to another mobile subscriber that can be retrieved at the subscriber's convenience. In that sense it is similar to an SMS text message. But Voice SMS is much easier to use. There are no keystrokes needed to compose the message. You just talk. When a Voice SMS is sent, an SMS text message is received saying "You have a Voice SMS. Click here to listen to your message." One click and you' are listening to your new message via a human voice. In some implementations, the phone reads "Dial *0* to listen to your message. A few clicks with the "Send" key are required, but it is still easy for users.
There are additional advantages for Voice SMS over text SMS. The text user interface on mobile phones is great if you use English, a European language, Kanji, or another widely used language. But once you get beyond the top twenty languages, there is little or no support in text messaging. And of course, text messages are of no use to people who are illiterate.
Voice SMS is perfect when the need to communicate is strong and a live conversation is not in order — for example when you think the other party is likely to be asleep, in a meeting, or in a noisy environment. Voice SMS is a convenient way to give call recipients information or initiate a non-real time conversation, while allowing them to delay their response until it is convenient. Even more important, voice conveys emotion and can provide more in-depth understanding than any text message.