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Friday, May 13 2011

Google Introduces free SMS to Orange, MTN and Uganda Telecom Networks

GMail is the internet web based email for Google which enables you surf the web within your email. You can choose to search within you email or just search the web from your email interface.

The beauty with all this is that it comes at no cost other than having a Gmail email account. The cost of a phone call had tremendously dropped to the extent that it was cheaper to call as compared to sending a text.

At least for a start, you have as many as 50 free SMS texts that can be sent to mobile numbers, I have not exhausted mine so I'm not sure what happens after that may be that will be our next article on this subject.

The mere fact that a mobile phone is in most cases with the person your sending this message to, it appears to be more instant than an email most especially if that person has not got access to the internet but the GSM network is available.

In Uganda, the Gmail SMS service is available to those on MTN, Orange and Uganda Telecom. It is not clear when networks like WARID, Airtel among others will get on board though Google is quick to add that; "If you are a mobile operator, and wish to integrate with the SMS feature of Gmail, please drop us a note to: mobile-operators-gmail-sms-integration@google.com"

Replying to (SMS) Messages:
"When you receive an SMS message from a Gmail contact, add the incoming number to your phone's address book (this number is associated with the sender's Gmail account, so you can use it to send Chat messages to that person in the future). Then, you can reply to the message as you would any other text message, and your reply appears as a Chat message in your friend's Gmail account."  from Google.

Posted by: uowd AT 11:47 am   |  Permalink   |  23 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 09 2011

It's becoming more popular with increased agents and subscribers within the city centres and limited presence upcountry going under brand names like Mobile Money, M-Sente and M-Pesa.

It is a convenient service and those who have used it will concur. Like any other service, when it grows then challenges set in as well and below we look at how this service that has taken Kampala and other places by storm.

Not Enough Money
This applies to whether you are receiving or sending. You get to a point and you are asked how much are you sending or receiving for that case, in some cases even the smallest amount will not be transacted. There's no float.

Paying Water Bills
It so convenient that you just pay like you are making a phone call. The problem is that payments made today will not have been knocked off three weeks later from your account so the next invoice will include what was paid and the subsequent bill making matters worse. Not until this is synchronized, customers will continue lining up in the banks now that most cash offices have been closed.

Limited Service Centres
By now you should know that an agent will simply handle withdrawals and deposits. In case of any trouble shooting elements or customer care related problems, then this can only be handled at the service centre. One well known service centre is on Kampala road opposite Bank of Uganda. Again you will not avoid finding long queues here.

Delays from Agents
For an agent to have money on their phone, they must have banked the money through Stanbic Bank and later that money is verified and channelled to their mobile phones which they can in turn use for paying whoever wants to withdraw. We talked to some agents and said that at times it takes two days before they can realise the money on their phones. This is one of the reasons some agents will tell you that we do not have enough float and you wonder what they are talking about.

Posted by: uowd AT 08:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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