First Hop launches Message Router

First Hop has announced Message Router 3.0, a server product for connecting mobile messaging applications with message centres.

Message Router sits between back-end applications which generate message alerts and an operator’s short or multimedia messaging centre. Developers can programme their applications to communicate with First Hop’s Router, which in turn passes the messages to the appropriate service centre. It supports a wide range of interfaces on the application side including Java, XML/HTTP, 3GPP MM7, SMPP, CIMD and will communicate with Nokia or Ericsson messaging centres. Operators can use the system to control the service level available to each application, manage the flow of messages and perform load balancing.

“As the messaging market will be driven by application messaging, the key to success for operators is to efficiently manage their services in a multi-vendor, multi-standard environment. However, their current network messaging centres are not optimised for that,” asserts Timo T. Laaksonen, First Hop CEO. “Consistent with First Hop’s aim to provide true value to our customers, I am proud to say that First Hop Message Router 3.0 solves exactly the challenges that operators are struggling with today.”


First Hop’s CEO makes an interesting point about application messaging driving the market. Peer-to-peer undoubtedly makes up the bulk of text messages sent over today’s networks, but as Marek Pawlowski discusses in his feature ‘Mobile Messaging’, innovative information services will be required to increase the value of owning an MMS-compatible handset for early adopters.

The market for messaging routers is likely to become crowded very quickly. Nokia and Ericsson are desperate to ensure they do not let companies like Logica and CMG dominate the multimedia messaging business as they have SMS. The likes of Logica and CMG will, in turn, be looking to counter the threat posed by smaller, more nimble players like First Hop. With a broad portfolio and an open approach to supporting multi-vendor environments, First Hop is hedging it bets, but it will require strong funding commitment to enable it to compete.

Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.

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