ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tweets by SMS are charged, but disappear into the void

In June 2010, B-Mobile announced the availability of a Twitter gateway. The Twitter gateway allows anyone with a B-Mobile number to tweet by sending an SMS to a special number (40404). It also allows mobile subscribers to receive tweets from people they follow.

Tweeting-by-SMS is very powerful. For example, it allows anyone with a basic phone to tweet in case of an emergency or disaster. It also allows people to receive emergency updates using SMS. By the way, the SMS interface is the historical reason behind the 140-character limit of tweets.

Unfortunately, the 40404 number is currently not working. In the past couple of weeks I sent a few SMSs to the Tweeter gateway. In each case, B-Mobile was quick to charge me Nu 0.45, but my tweet disappeared into the void. A few days after each tweet I received an SMS Delivery Report saying that the SMS was not delivered.

This service by B-Mobile was great while it lasted. We hope that it will resume, and that B-Mobile will improve it's 24x7 monitoring of this service, as well as updating the customers regarding outages.

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