The Future of Voicemail Video Series: Introduction

The Future of Voicemail Video Series is coming shortly to Mobile Industry Review.

For a long time I’ve been pondering the possibilities of the medium of voicemail. For years it’s been overlooked. We all rely on it daily, yet I’m sure hardly any of us give it more than a cursory glance once every few years. For such a critical service, I’ve found it really strange that, on the face of it, the innovation — aside from a few outstanding players — appears to have ground to a halt back in 1995.

I do remember that various operators here in the UK used ‘free voicemail’ as service feature. Long ago, though, I stopped worrying about the cost of voicemail. I just… well at some point, as far as I can remember, it just became free. Or it was added into my ‘minutes bundle’. I confess that I can’t actually tell you if Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile or anyone actually charges for voicemail service anymore.

Whilst it’s a ubiquitous service that (prior to getting her iPhone), even my mother understood, it’s time we saw some innovation. Surely the infrastructure now exists to allow mobile subscribers to go beyond the now-standard 10 voicemail limit? Why did Vodafone and Orange duck out of the visual voicemail issue with iPhone and decide to lumber their iPhone customers with an analog version? Whither transcription and how much of a benefit is that beyond the specific requirements of certain business users? Why don’t mobile operators offer subscribers the ability to get emailed copies of their voicemails? How many people actually use voicemail on a daily basis here in the UK and beyond? Is voicemail still a killer app? Was it ever? What’s next in the field of voicemail? Who’s doing good work, who’s really innovating, who are the companies to watch?

It’s these questions and more that I hope to answer through the upcoming Future of Voicemail Video Series.

The format is this: I will be interviewing 5 leading minds in the mobile and technology field on camera over the next few weeks. I’ll be asking them to comment on the history, the background to the industry, the technology in use today and to speculate on what they see as the next steps for the medium. I aim to bring you one video each week, starting in the next few weeks.

Bringing these kinds of features to the site is something I’ve always wanted to do — but it’s quite a logistical challenge to do so, both from an organisational and filming standpoint. I approached a few companies to help me produce this series — and I’m delighted to thank Andy, Jane and the team at HulloMail for agreeing to help cover the production costs for the series. Thank you HulloMail.

If you haven’t tried out the service, by the way, do check it out — free — at

Right then, standby for the first video interview. If you’ve any questions, drop me a note:

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