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16 questions to Nate of TxtDrop.com

Picture 15I invited Nate, founder of free texting service, TxtDrop.com if he’d like to do an SMS Text News Q&A. I always find it massively exciting to see how people answer these questions as it gives an excellent insight as to what mobile industry entrepreneurs (Nate, in this case) are thinking.

So let’s begin!

1. What was your first mobile handset?
It was an old Motorola. I actually can’t remember the model, but I remember that it was to big to fit in my pocket!

2. What is your current mobile strategy? (i.e. Handsets, devices, networks)
Right now I’m using RIM’s Blackberry 8703e with Verizon Wireless. It has everything I’m looking for right now in one device – email, voice, and data.

3. What price plan are you using right now?
I don’t remember exactly, but it’s usually around $100 a month. I have a pretty basic voice plan, along with an unlimited data plan and a tethering option, so I can connect my Blackberry to my laptop for private high speed internet access when I need it.

4. What’s your background?
I’m fascinated by technology and the internet. Always have been. I became interested in telephony around 2000 or 2001, when I started testing services like Net2Phone, which at the time, was so cool to me. I eventually became more and more interested in all aspects of telephony, especially VoIP, Open Source PBXs, and of course mobile phones and mobile technologies like SMS and MMS. I created my first successful mobile website, TxtDrop.com, in September 2005 because I really wanted a free text messaging application for my own use.

5. What sites do you regularly read to keep up to date with mobile?
Textually, SMS Text News, Ringtonia, press releases at PRWeb.com, and Jeff Pulver’s blog (http://pulverblog.pulver.com) is one of my favorites because he’s always talking about the next big thing. He blogs a lot about his traveling and what technologies the US is missing out on!

6. What was your mobile bill last month? What do you think is a fair amount to pay for your mobile service each month?
$130. I think my bill should really be under $100 a month.

7. Pick 3 people that you admire and rate in the mobile industry and give us 2-3 lines about each.
I really don’t know that many people in the mobile industry, so my list is limited, but here goes:

Jeff Pulver – Jeff has a great blog, which isn’t specifically related to the mobile industry, but nonetheless, has introduced me to a lot of next generation communications companies and technologies. He’s one of the most influential people in the telecommunications industry, in my opinion. It’s amazing that he even has time to blog as much, and as in depth, as he does! I really admire all he’s done in the VoIP industry (he was even a co-founder of Vonage).

Steve Jobs – Breaking into the mobile industry and trying to compete against companies like Motorola, LG, RIM and Nokia isn’t an easy task! Especially when your used to making computers and music players. But Steve Jobs seems to have put in a lot of time and effort into the iPhone and it looks like it will pay off for Apple.

Emily From Textually – Emily has a great site, Textually.org, which keeps me in touch with the mobile industry. I’ve been a frequent Textually reader for over 2 years now and it’s also how I found SMS Text News. Don’t know what I’d do without it!

8. Do you have any pets?
A cat.

9. What one issue or technological advancement would you like to see with the mobile industry? What are you looking forward to?
I’d like my Blackberry 8703e to have a camera! I’d like to see high speed networks rolled out in more cities, especially smaller ones, across the United States. I live in a very small state, and we ALWAYS get things last! It kills me.

I’m really looking forward to video calls, whether it’s with another mobile phone user or someone at their computer. Also, I’m looking forward to better video playback support on mobile phones, like the day when your able to play YouTube videos as well as Quicktime videos on the same mobile handset.

10. What’s your ringtone?
The CTU ringtone from ’24’.

11. What’s the last movie you saw at the cinema?
300.

12. What services do you most use on your handset?
Email, the web, and SMS.

13. What’s the hottest mobile service to catch your eye recently?
Radvision’s PC-to-Mobile 3G video calls! Wow.

14. When did you last send a picture / video message — and who was it to?
About a month ago when I was testing out a picture messaging service I’m creating. The message was to myself. I’ve never sent a video message.

15. What new mobile companies have caught your attention this year?
Radvision and Loopt.

16. What is the best thing and the worst thing about the mobile industry?
The best thing about the mobile industry is that it keeps evolving, getting better and more sophisticated 🙂

The worst things about the mobile industry, in my opinion, are the closed nature of most mobile applications and the competing technologies in the US that are not compatible with each other, such as EVDO and EDGE, as well as CDMA and GSM. Also, it’s terrible when mobile carriers intentionally disable certain features or don’t plan to support features on the phones they offer!

Nate, thank you for taking the time to do this! Fascinating!

If you’d like to do an SMS Text News Q&A, drop me a note.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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