Interview: Sean Moshir, CEO, Celltrust

CellTrust CellTrust is the leading provider of a fully scalable and highly adaptable Secure Mobile Information Management (SMIM) Platform, global Secure SMS Gateway, and suite of mobile applications engineered to manage and deliver information and mobile content in a timely, intelligent and secure manner. At first I was a bit puzzled by this. Secure SMS. While I think it’s interesting, me as a user, sending and receiving encrypted SMS?

Sean Moshir, CEO, CellTrust In speaking with Sean Moshir, CEO of CellTrust, he explained a few use cases where it could helpful. Before going into that, I’ll just explain that the company is giving you the ability to send and receive encrypted SMS over normal text messaging gateways. CellTrust is also using some bits of compression, thus a message can be over 160 characters in length. For security, CellTrust has employed AES encryption and the use of public and private keys. Another extremely good feature that I wish SMS had was the ability to get delivery confirmation as well as a read receipt. We somewhat take for granted these functions in email, but in SMS, it doesn’t exist. It would be great if regular SMS could incorporate some of these features, but we might have to wait a long time before that is a standard.

So what are some use cases?

Banking. SMS alerts are becoming fairly common place to let customer know about purchases, spending limits, and potential fraudulent charges. However with SMS, you cannot send any detail about purchases. This violates privacy laws. With secure SMS, you *can* send more detailed information about charges and have a one-click reply in the form of a WAP link to respond. This can help reduce fraud and potentially improve customer satisfaction.

Healthcare. Long gone are the days when doctor’s hips were strapped with a pager that only display 9 digits. Today mobile technology is widely used as doctors, nurses, technicians as well as patients are more mobile than ever. SMS would seem to be a natural progression of how a doctor and patient can communicate. However, this form of information transmission is not HIPAA compliant. Using secure SMS, you can receive your lab results or diagnosis via text. And the doctor can get confirmation that the text was sent as well as read by you.

So how does the model work?

By sending the secure message to a specific short code or in some cases, a long code, it gets routed to the CellTrust SecureSMS gateway. This is responsible for routing it to the recipient as well as tracking the status of the message (new, delivered, read). Click here for the CellTrust Animated Demo.

How do you make money?

Sean stated: “It’s similar to Adobe Acrobat. It’s free the install the client on your phone, and free to receive a message. When you create or send a message, that’s when you pay.”

You still might think this is a service that you would not be convinced to use. But at CTIA 2008 in San Francisco, their two deals, one with OpenMarket and the other with IBM prove that CellTrust is gaining some serious traction. Hopefully this service will be coming to a bank, hospital, clinic, or other provider near you.

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