WILMINGTON, DE — David Tuttleman, founder and CEO of Kahunaville Worldwide, is part of a trend that's gaining rapid adoption in the United States, and that has long been a "silent" phenomenon in Europe and Asia. He swaps short messages via his wireless phone using Verizon Wireless' Mobile MessengerSM coast-to-coast two-way text-messaging service.
Instead of using his wireless phone solely for talking, he also relies on it for sending and receiving short messages (up to 160 characters), information alerts and accessing e-mail.
By utilizing SMS (short messaging service) technology, Tuttleman stays in touch with his business partner, employees and family. It's a quick, quiet and discreet way for the busy restaurateur to communicate during the long days and nights spent overseeing 10 island-themed restaurants across the country. His locations include the original site at the Wilmington Riverfront, Langhorne, Pennsylvania's Oxford Valley Mall and sites in Tampa, Florida and Treasure Island in Las Vegas. Tuttleman is also growing new businesses opportunities overseas.
In early September, Tuttleman will launch his first international location, in Seoul, Korea, through a territorial licensing agreement with a Korean-based hospitality company. It will be the first of three Kahunaville locations established in Korea over the next five years.
While visiting Seoul earlier this summer, Tuttleman used text messaging to communicate with his executive chef, general managers and corporate executives as well as checking in on his sons' summer adventures. During his Asian trip, Tuttleman witnessed first-hand the widespread popularity of text messaging - especially among business people.
"In my line of work, there's a lot of ongoing communication with my restaurant managers, colleagues and vendors to make sure everything is running smoothly," said Tuttleman.
When traveling, Tuttleman often receives text message updates on national concerts staged each summer on the Deck at Wilmington's Kahunaville. "My manager recently sent me the final attendance count on our sold-out John Mayer concert, while a few friends fired off quick music reviews of the show."
Text messaging also enables Tuttleman, a Bala Cynwyd, Pa., native and father of two, to stay in touch with his sons. "When I'm on the road, running late or in a business meeting and I think of my boys, I can shoot them a quick message like, 'I love you' or 'How are you doing?' "It's just such an asset because I think of my family often, but have an extremely demanding work schedule."
"The SMS market is catching on in the U.S. as people are finding it to be a convenient alternative to having a conversation and a great way to more effectively manage the minutes they've purchased in their wireless voice plans," said Christine Baron, president, Verizon Wireless, Philadelphia Tri-State Region. "We're able to meet the needs of businesses and consumers and offer data applications like two-way text messaging service and Express Network SM due to our continued network expansion."
In a recent survey commissioned by Verizon Wireless, of the hundreds of wireless phone and Internet users ages 15 to 40, over 92 percent of respondents said cell phones have significantly changed the way they do business and communicate with friends. Eighty nine percent of respondents believe wireless phones would be even more useful if they could easily and quietly send short messages.
Verizon Wireless customers are sending and receiving more than 2 million messages every day, up 86 percent during the first quarter of 2002, compared with the previous quarter. In the second quarter, the company saw messaging volume double over first quarter. Industry analysts estimate that in the United States, text-messaging users will grow from 1.4 million last year to 15 million by 2004.
About Verizon Wireless
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