Six years post the initial release of Hike Messenger; Team Hike has launched a new service named TOTAL- by Hike today. Total is a new way of connecting the users without data.
After the saturation in the user base in western countries, India is now the biggest market for internet and data. According to the statistics, in our country of 1.25 billion people, there are nearly 700 million mobile phone owners. Which can further be classified into 400 million smartphones and 300 million feature phone users across the country. What Total does is to reach these 300 million feature phone users as well as the remaining 550 million people and provide them connectivity without the use of data.
Total built by Hike works on UTP (Universal Transfer Protocol) which is a basic service set available in the GSM SIM cards. This is the same service which powers the SIM toolkit present in your current Android smartphones. Total provides basic services such as Messaging, Cab Booking, Railway ticket booking, News and Cricket Scores. There are specific set of USSD codes required for each of these services. What Total does is to integrate these USSD codes to the Graphical User Interface of the application which in turn makes the task simple for the user.
As shown in the launch event, users would be able to send text messages without data as well as image thumbnails. To receive the original file, data pack can be purchased as low as INR 1. This will enable the user to download that image.
Implementation of TOTAL
To turn Total into a reality, Hike has partnered with various telecom service providers as well as handset manufacturers. In the smartphone segment, Hike has partnered with two Indian brands:
Whereas the telcos which have partnered with Hike include:
As claimed by Kavin Bharti Mittal, CEO Hike, the Karbonn and Intex devices will be available in the market as early as 1st of March this Year. 3 Models of Intex and 1 Model of Karbonn will be available for the users which with a price starting from INR 3000 onwards.
Summing up, Total seems to be a disruptive step by hike to reach the “next billion users” and provide connectivity without data, where bigheads such as Free Basics by Facebook had to step back in the past. Looking forward to “Connected India”.