Today, an email tip pointed us to a new product to be launched soon by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. We’re not sure what the product will be named but it can be found right now on www.etxt.co.zw and it’s already active. The service allows you to use SMS to communicate seamlessly with Email, Instant Messaging (Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Facebook Chat) and social media networks like Facebook. It’s powered by a ForgetMeNot Africa application called eTXT.
We tried the service (the Gtalk and the Email) and to say we are impressed at how this works so effortlessly would be an understatement. It just works! There’s no complicated stuff or any cryptic configurations needed. You just enable the service on your number and you’re done.
When your number is enabled for eTXT, you get an email address in the format of your Econet number @etxt.co.zw (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org for example) which you use for communication with the internet services. To chat with a Gtalk address for example, you can just ask the person you want to chat with to add your eTXT address to their Chat friends, you get an SMS that asks you if you want to chat with them, you reply ‘YES’ and you’re done. Their chats come to you as SMSs and your SMSs go to them as chats.
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Email is the same, you give your contact your email address and they can start sending you mail right away. And the beauty of it is that you get to choose if you want to receive email from someone. It doesn’t just start flooding you with SMS emails you do not want. A winner for spam.
This has the potential to go really big. We’re not sure where this leaves those Econet Mail phone number addresses Econet is still pushing but our hope is they’ll just kill the project altogether and focus on eTXT. It’s THAT good. Using it you can’t help imagining the possibilities for the millions of subscribers without access to the Internet.
Try it for yourself and let us know in the comments. Again, we have no idea when this will launch officially but we can confirm it’s working superbly as we write this. We’ve written to Econet for more information.
Here’s a ForgetMeNot Africa video that explains clearly how eTXT works:
As far as we can tell from this ForgetMeNot Africa page, eTXT was first launched on the Econet Telecom Lesotho network back in September 2009.
According to the ForgetMeNot Africa website, the company is 51% owned by Lon Zim, and 49% by ForgetMeNot Software.