Business Wire: Bookit Oy: The Inventor of SMS, Mr Makkonen Received an International Innovation Award

HELSINKI, Finland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mr Matti Makkonen had discussed the idea of a Message Handling Service for GSM digital mobile phone in1984in a pizzeria in Copenhagen with two other Finns Mr Tiainen and Mr Tapiola during a conference of mobile phone communication's future. When the development of GSM digital mobile phone standard was extended from the Nordic countries initiative to global ETSI workgroup, the idea of SMS was proposed to be included as a global standard. Makkonen reminds that global collaboration is essential in order to bring the new technology to global scale. “Without this international collaboration the SMS would not have become a global success story”, says Makkonen. Today the SMS is available on global scale on a wide range of networks, including 3G networks.

“Without this international collaboration the SMS would not have become a global success story”
Makkonen has already retired from his executive position at Finnet but is now a shareholder and a board member in a young high tech company called Bookit. This small Finnish company has created an innovative platform for managing easy to use dialogues on SMS. Bookit calls their product the iSMS, because it is interactive and easy to use. The iSMS has become very popular in Bookit’s home country Finland, where people are using the iSMS for easy to use bookings. For example, more than half of the Finnair’s passengers do their check-in with iSMS. The service is very easy to use since the user automatically receives a check-in request from Bookit’s iSMS service and can check-in simply by replying with letter A. Passengers are extremely satisfied since they avoid queuing and can proceed directly to the gate because Bookit completes the dialogue by sending an iSMS boarding pass directly to their mobile phone.
Makkonen says Bookit’s innovation is very clever because it uses the benefits of an already existing SMS standard but manages SMS transactions intelligently by adding “fingerprints” to each message. The network doesn’t notice these secret fingerprints and therefore the iSMS service can be used by any of the existing 3.2 billion SMS users globally on any phone. The intelligence of Bookit’s iSMS service is called Bookit DDM (dynamic dialogue matrix) and it has many international patents. While the messages are delivered as a standard SMS message, the iSMS server monitors the SMS message flows and uses the “DDM - fingerprints” to authenticate each individual message. Using these fingerprints, the right answers are matched correctly to the right question. In order to do business transactions on SMS, it’s imperative to know exactly the authenticity of the messages and to interpret the dialogues correctly.
Mr Jukka Salonen, the president of Bookit, explains the popularity of iSMS: People don’t like to memorize complex keywords or do not bother installing software

into their phone but they all know how to reply to an SMS message. One-letter-reply to SMS message is so easy that most people answer the message instantly, what explains the popularity of the service. The standard SMS network, the mobile phone or the user do not notice Bookit DDM fingerprints so they work automatically in all existing phones and can be used globally on any operator’s network.
Mr Salonen thinks that Makkonen is just the right person to receive the Economist’s innovation award because he’s a man with a clear vision of the future but is also able to put decades of hard work to achieve his visions. When Matti was working on a NMT standard, many people laughed at the idea. Who would need a mobile phone? When he suggested an idea of a short message service SMS for the next version of mobile phone GSM, people already took him seriously, because NMT had become an amazing success story”, says Salonen.
“Matti has a talent to listen patiently to people much below him in the organization - then suggest out of a box idea. I was just a young guy, when I joined Telecom Finland in 1996. Matti was top executive but yet he took time and patience to listen to my ideas of making PC applications available to a mobile phone. Matti listened carefully and replied: “Why should we limit mobile applications to things we normally do on PC! Mobile phone has advantages that PC does NOT have: It fits nicely in your pocket, so it’s always with you. You can use it with one hand and press buttons with your thumb, even when you are moving. Think if we could make reservations, payments and quick and easy transactions by just pressing one button”. Makkonen explained that the mobile phone will become the remote controller of our lives and people will do most of their bookings and payments with a mobile phone.
Because of Makkonen’s vision and decades of committed work, 3.2 billion people enjoy using the SMS on their mobile phone. The iSMS is delivering Mr Makkonen’s vision of mobile phone based booking transactions and therefore this interactive version of SMS is quickly gaining popularity because it works on any mobile phone and on any mobile network without installing any software into the phone.

More info on iSMS and interview of Matti Makkonen can be viewed at
BookIT Ltd
Jukka Salonen, Managing Director
Tel.: +358400 312 311

Tuesday, Nov 04, 2008