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SA company powers Beijing Olympics SMS alerts

A South African-founded company is providing the technology that will allow sports followers to receive free text alerts from CNN’s coverage of the Olympic Games starting in Beijing this week. The gold medal alert service will be available via SMS for all models of mobile phone.

Clickatell, a leading provider of global mobile messaging solutions, today announced that CNN International is using Clickatell’s systems to bring mobile SMS coverage of this month¬πs Beijing Olympic Games to fans around the world.

Clickatell has worked with CNN since 2007 to provide a broad range of news via SMS alerts, and is now powering the CNN Beijing 2008 SMS gold medal alert service.

Available now, fans can register from their mobile phones by logging onto the CNN mobile site at and clicking on ‚alerts‚ to begin the registration process. Alternatively, fans can send an SMS text message to

+447800001266 and enter the two letter country code of their choice.

‚Given our positive experience with them on our existing breaking news alert service, Clickatell was the natural choice to handle CNN¬πs Beijing 2008 Gold Medal alerts,‚ says Laurel Chamberlain, Director of Digital Media for CNN International. ‚The broad global reach of Clickatell¬πs carrier-grade messaging infrastructure will enable us to reliably reach people around the world during this summer¬πs Beijing Olympic Games.‚

More than four billion TV viewers are expected to tune into the Beijing Olympic Games ¬≠‚ many of whom can be reached by mobile phone. Roughly two billion of the planet¬πs mobile phone users are active users of SMS text messaging.

‚The Olympic Games give us all a chance to be a part of the global community: ¬≠ the whole world watching with a hopeful outcome in mind. Clickatell focuses on connecting many types of communities with trusted global brands. Many organisations are utilising the mobile channel to capture new markets and segments.‚ said Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell.

‚This is yet another example where a leading brand such as CNN is taking relevant information directly to its audience in real-time. We¬πre seeing a definite trend where leading companies are embracing mobile and text messaging as a compelling communication channel across multiple industries – especially financial services, social media, healthcare, retail, government, and more.‚

The free gold medal alert service from CNN will enable fans to get real-time SMS updates with their country¬πs gold medal tally. A hyperlink within the alert will give one-click access to exclusive blogs from CNN¬πs correspondents in Beijing, allow users to comment on the Olympics blogs, watch video round-ups of the latest sporting action, visit the events timetable, and upload images or video to CNN¬πs user generated service, iReport.

Given the worldwide appeal of the Olympic Games and the varying time zones around the world, this mobile service will break down the barriers of time zones for many viewers who would otherwise face late nights of TV or after-the-fact online coverage to tune in to the most exciting moments of the Games.

‚CNN International¬πs innovative Breaking News and Beijing 2008 gold medal alert services are part of a much bigger trend that enterprises around the world are addressing to reach their customers on their cell phone,‚ says de Villiers. ‚CNN is poised to capture a large piece of this market. Working with Clickatell enables them to take advantage of this burgeoning mobile market opportunity.‚

Clickatell was founded in Cape Town and still has offices there, but is now headquartered in Redwood City, California, and is backed by Sequoia Capital.

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