USSD Gateway & Manager
USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) is a session-based protocol used by mobile phones to communicate with the operator.
A gateway is the hardware and software required to connect networks and perform protocol conversion. It routes USSD messages to and from the signaling network. It complements SMS services, bringing faster messaging to users. Unlike SMS and MMS, which store and forward messages independently of the session, USSD establishes a single, real time session between the handset and the application.
Operators can introduce messaging services with USSD as the bearer, enabling faster response times. USSD has massive potential to deliver new services in developing markets as it has a low barrier to entry and is intuitive, menu-driven and works with all handsets.
USSD is mainly used for banking and airtime recharging. Other applications include: Voice chat, roaming (home network routing), menu driven navigation, voting, competitions, CallMe, information (weather, traffic etc.), entertainment (games, sports etc.), lifestyle (dating, horoscopes etc.), social networking etc.
USSD Mobile Advertising
Mobile advertising is a form of advertising via mobile phones or devices. Marketers can provide short, precise content to manipulate the different channels provided by mobile phones. Currently, the most successful channel is SMS. Some channels like USSD have not been fully exploited, even though they offer far greater reach because of their ubiquitous nature. Mobile advertising has proven to be very successful when used in medium combinations i.e. USSD and SMS or WAP and SMS.
USSD has the unique advantage of offering a simple browsing experience through a menu system. It is familiar to the mobile market thanks to “please call me”. Codes can encompass once off requests or interactive navigation with a menu based application and is extremely effective when targeting a lower market as it is supported by all handsets and networks and requires no internet connection – it therefore has great reach and adoption within your market. Mobile advertisers are beginning to explore using USSD as a marketing channel.
USSD Chat and Social Networking
Chat allows users to send and receive text messages to and from virtually any mobile phone. It is available to Internet users, through a web-site application or a social network such as Facebook application.
Social networking is a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who share interests, activities or real-life connections. Most are web-based. They allow users to share ideas, pictures, posts, activities etc. with people in their network. Popular methods of social networks combine with global services such as Facebook, Google+, Mxit, LinkedIn, Twitter and Myspace.
USSD is a mature technology, widely used in online banking, marketing services and ticketing for one-way service. However, USSD technology can facilitate two-way communication, so operators have put considerable effort into applying it to social networks.
Please Call Me
Mention the word USSD and you can expect a blank face. But show someone the funny looking *111# number and a look of familiarity will appear.
Please Call Me (PCM) or Call-back is part of USSD solution architecture, which is highly scalable and convenient, designed for smooth navigation and user-friendly interactivity in a modular fashion. It is much faster than SMS and offers a lot of flexibility. It is a GSM based technology, meaning that it is not dependent on Internet connectivity and data traffic. No extra software downloads are needed.
It enables pre-paid subscribers with limited credit to send a free SMS message requesting to be called by the recipient, releasing formerly inaccessible revenue sources for network operators. Customized messages from a USSD menu are also available to the subscriber.