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If you have mobile network, you have USSD. But wait, how can you build services around it? Ask eyeline – seems like they can activate USSD functionality for you on the spot. Hard to believe? Contact them at http://eyeline.mobi
There is an interesting discussion on USSD Experts about Global USSD Exchange. Here is an excerpt for those who are not yet in the Group:
Global USSD traffic exchange
Since USSD inter-carrier traffic is not regulated, Eyeline wants to initiate a process to civilize traffic exchange among carriers alike SMS traffic. How can we achieve this, what are your ideas? Or is this not needed?
Posted 7 days ago
1. Tjaart van der Walt
CEO/Owner at TruTeq Wireless
We’d we interested.
Posted 6 days ago
2. Shaun Campbell
Director, Business Development, sub-Saharan Africa
Sybase365 is launching a Global USSD Hub now offered to their existing client MNOs over existing SS7 links:
Sybase 365 has the most extensive, private, operator-grade network for mobile messaging available.
The mCommerce product suite is an end-to-end mobile commerce solution for banks, financial institutions, mobile operators and merchants.
Sybase 365 offers a comprehensive set of flexible, high-performance mobile messaging services.
From mobile messaging interoperability to mobile content delivery and mobile commerce services, for operators, brands and content providers, enterprises and financial institutions, we have the market covered. That means we deliver more mobile services to wherever you are, or need to be.
Reach to 850 global operators
Reach to 4 billion mobile subscribers
Delivering 1.4+ billion messages per day
Posted 6 days ago
3. J S (Seppy) Nyang’oro
Strategy Consultant & Entrepreneur
Why would MNOs agree to participate in any USSD inter-carrier traffic exchange? I mean what would be the incentive for them to do that? For one, major MNO such as Zain (with their own one zain network) are already providing USSD exchange service in their own multi-country, multi-continent network. Others are doing the same; but I agree there seem to be disjointed effort at best. But maybe that’s because nobody has articulated to them the benefits of this potential service.
Posted 5 days ago
4. Chris Eyles
Guys as the MNO cant (or don’t) bill on the USSDC channel any general inter operator agreement is a long way away – it will require originating / termination agreements (with associated payment settlement)
A gradually bespoke model may evolve driven by the demand of regional clients and Sybase are well positioned create the scale and relationships required as it is an adjacency to their existing SMS interconnect business
Posted 5 days ago
5. Valentin Micic
PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT at PHAROS CONSULTING
Well… not only MNO’s cannot bill, but it does cost them to support USSD for foreign subscribers roaming within their networks. In a strange and wonderful way, this may help the effort to regulate inter-connect USSD traffic. The argument may be made to the tune of: you are already supporting roaming USSD traffic and it cost you to do so. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to recover this cost through a bilateral agreements?
As for Sybase… well, if they are so well positioned maybe they should:
1) Provide a meaningful input to the topic;
2) Pay LinkedIn for the advertisement that they’ve just placed;
Posted 5 days ago
6. Chris Eyles
Yes an evolving series of bilaterals based on existing GSMA SMS agreements where the Network originating and Mobile termination elements are charged and allocated (similar to international SMS) may just cross the tipping point to a larger exchange.
USSD has some extremely interesting points of differentiation as a messaging layer that make pursuing this dream a
SMS cant be billed natively (needs a gateway with billing functions i.e an SMSC) but there is lots of trusted(?) interconnect that doesn’t go through the local SMSC that is successfully mediated and charged.
I think Sybases’ point was that they believe such a thing is possible, hence why they are working on it, so is more valuable to this discussion than the usual “I have one talk to me” promotional posting that you are concerned with
(I, nor my family, do not hold any shares in Sybase
Posted 4 days ago
7. Shaun Campbell
Director, Business Development, sub-Saharan Africa
the reason I responded to this thread is that there is a very significant gap in commercial USSD service provision from MNOs in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa which is well provisioned) for USSD VAS/WASP services and in particular in my world – mCommerce/mBanking over USSD.
In my real-life experience in setting up mCommerce services, on average less than 2 in 4 MNOs have a USSD Gateway installed and possibly only 1 in 4 have a full product policy with a working billing capability. The market is changing fast though. For example, 6 month ago in Kenya only Safaricom had a commercial USSD capability. Orange, Zain and Yu were not ready. Now, only Zain remains outside the commercial USSD world. This is a good case for Africa, where 3 of 4 have commercial USSD. Several countries have no offering, or 1 in 3 MNOs are “thinking about it”.
The MNOs do not favour USSD so much as SMS because USSD impacts on the GSM side of the voice capacity, so they typically say that USSD will be detrimental to their voice capacity, connectivity & quality, which is already an issue for some MNOs (more voice traffic demand than the network can carry at peak periods). This makes it hard for VAS/WASPs, banks, mCommerce projects to offer national, MNO agnostic, USSD short codes.
So, back to the topic. Sybase recongize that many MNOs are not sure about investing in the capital cost of USSD Gateways & billing solutions but they are probably already connected to Sybase’s ‘exchanges’, where SMS, MMS, GPRS, IP exchanges that sit on SS7 around the world.
Hence, it is possible to add USSD to the list of Sybase global exchanges and at the same time offer hosted USSD Gateways + billing for those MNOs that don’t have a solution. In turn, enhanced global interoperability becomes more of an option and billing for USSD roaming can be made more of a possibility, so everybody should be a little happier.
Another point is that some local companies (such as VAS providers in Africa) are starting to look at the possibility of offering hosted USSD Gateways to African MNOs (who can’t motivate themselves to install their own) in the same manner, whether it is an IP or SS7 connection to the MNO. IP is of course a more feasible option.
Here is a real example in line with this topic. Today, a customer of an mCommerce project running over USSD in ‘Country A’ can take their SIM card from ‘Country A’, arrive in ‘County C’, and as long as the customer has GSM roaming switch on the ‘Country A’ USSD service works in ‘Country C’, subject to some minor delays due to extra hops in the roaming connection. Wouldn’t it be beneficial for the MNO in ‘Country C’ if they could bill the MNO in ‘Country A’ for that roaming USSD traffic, or at least net-off? This is the key point of the thread, right?
As Africa’s mobile development moves to a more integrated community of mobile networks across the territory (such as Zain’s One network) and away from non-integrated national-only networks (as was the case 2+ years ago) and the individual subscribers become more & more international / regional in their work and travel, then roaming USSD is a growing topic.
With the rapid onset of mCommerce & mBanking in Africa USSD has been rediscovered and is now in demand after decades of little interest (SA being an exception where USSD has taken off well). So, USSD isn’t going away anytime soon as it holds a unique characteristic of being reliable (it is either on or off, like an IP session), fairly cost effective and generally secure enough for many banking / commerce applications. (USSD is still the best of a compromised bunch when it comes to Africa). Sadly CDMA has no USSD equivalent.
That’s my perspective. By the way, I have no shares in Sybase either.
Posted 4 days ago
It seems that every time Russia’s leaders proclaim an “innovative leap forward,” the West publishes fresh statistics indirectly proving that such a leap is impossible. For example, a recent report on the number of patents registered with the U.S. Patent Office over the last five years shows that Denmark has more than twice as many patents than Russia, Sweden has 6.8 times more, and Canada — 20 times more. What’s more, Germany registers more patents in one year than the Soviet Union and Russia combined over the last half century.
In addition, Russia produces just 2.6 percent of all articles published in international scientific and academic journals, placing it 14th worldwide. It seems that scientific progress is practically at a standstill in Russia, while in leading industrial countries science is taking giant strides forward.
Why is Russia falling so far behind? The standard explanation is inadequate funding. Russia’s 2009 budget for research and development was less than 170 billion rubles ($5.45 billion). By comparison, China allocated $136.2 billion. Russia spends only 0.75 percent of its gross domestic product on scientific R&D, while Japan, Israel, Sweden and many other countries spend more than 3 percent of GDP.
In the rest of the world, scientific achievements are first transformed into manufactured goods before they become a part of the national economy. In no country does the income from the sale of patents and licenses exceed 3.5 percent of total exports. This demonstrates that the driving force for progress is demand from the real sector, which is practically nonexistent in Russia. U.S. companies spend an average of 3.5 percent of their earnings on R&D, and in the European Union that figures averages 3.2 percent. In particular, pharmaceutical companies spend from 13 percent to 16 percent of earnings on R&D, and telecommunications companies — up to 19 percent. In Russia, that indicator does not exceed 0.5 percent, and such national flagship corporations like Gazprom and Rosneft spend no more than a meager 0.17 percent on R&D. Automobile and aircraft manufacturing, shipbuilding and electronics — sectors that drive scientific and technological progress in other countries — are weak in Russia.
The second important factor is the overall deterioration of the country’s education system — not only in the sense that it is underfunded, but also in its loss of prestige. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Russia experienced a major brain drain to other countries. At the same time, there has been a sharp rise in the number of university students, while the number of professors has declined. To make matters worse, it is quite easy to simply purchase a “candidate” degree (something roughly between a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in the West) and even a Ph.D. in Russia without actually studying or writing the required dissertations. There are enough artificial holders of these degrees that their overall value has dropped markedly — even for those who earned them honestly.
The third major factor is the closed and fragmented nature of the country’s scientific community. Among member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 22 percent of all scientific articles published are written by an international team of authors. In Russia, that number is less than 1 percent. Foreign professors account for 11 percent to 43 percent of teaching staffs at EU universities and about 9 percent in the United States. In Russia, the number is statistically insignificant. The quality of Russia’s scientific journals is rapidly declining. In Holland, natural science journals have a readership 40 times larger than Russia’s.
Can Russia ever become innovative? Highly unlikely. The government has made superficial attempts to build an “innovation economy” by throwing money at ventures like Rusnano, but little is being done to develop innovation from the bottom up. Moreover, the government is spending much more money on supporting the raw materials sector. This is a clear indication that the state is more interested in maintaining the status quo than developing innovation.
Vladislav Inozemtsev is a professor of economics, director of the Moscow-based Center for Post-Industrial Studies and editor-in-chief of Svobodnaya Mysl.
Thank you, Andrei Deryabin.
Why SMS Advertising from 4INFO research
Here is a list of contents of short contributions from different people on Mobile Commerce:
2 INTRODUCTION Mobile commerce: It’s a reality By Giselle Abramovich
3 The current state of mobile commerce
By Steve Timpson, Siteminis
5 Mobile commerce: The importance of the end-user experience
By Mike Beech, Acision
6 Mobile is not the tiny Web
By Jason Cianchette, Liquid Wireless
7 Mobile commerce: Leveraging the targeted impulse purchase opportunity
By Alan Sultan, Acuity Mobile
8 From the desktop to the mobile phone: Advancing mobile commerce a single-click at a time
By Michael Dulong, Billing Revolution
10 How content providers can profit from mobile search, on- and off-deck
By Stephen Burke, MCN
11 How to optimize your Web site for mobile
By Marc Peter, on-Idle
12 Reaching consumers at point of need key to mobile commerce
By Brad Bostic, ChaCha Search
13 How to achieve mobile marketing success with optimized landing pages
By Kim Ann King, SiteSpect
14 American shoppers turn to coupons during economic slowdown
By Steven Gray, Money Mailer
15 The role of idle screen in driving mobile commerce
By Jon Jackson, Mobile Posse
16 FEATURE Sears wins with mobile commerce
By Giselle Abramovich, Mobile Marketer
18 Mobile banking’s place in the ecosystem
By Michael Foschetti, Mobisix
19 Customer service leads the way in mobile travel Web adoption
By Gerry Samuels, Mobile Travel Technologies
20 Beyond the handset: Leveraging mobile distribution points to reach underserved markets
By Moneet Singh, MPower Mobile
21 An evolution revolution: SMS transforms mobile commerce
By Chuck Drake, Clickatell
22 Hate crowds? Want your mobile content to stand out? Try thinking globally, acting locally and embracing the mobile Web
By Ray Anderson, Bango
23 Banks and carriers finally realizing the power of mobile commerce
By Matthew Talbot, Sybase 365
24 So, now you have a mobile site. What’s next?
By Richard Eicher, Skycore
25 Personalization: Teenage sex all over again
By Mory Bahar, Personal Remedies
27 Mobile commerce: The Legal Landscape
By Brian W. Esler and David Rice, Miller Nash
28 Mobile sellers face technological and legal challenges
By Gonzalo E. Mon, Kelley Drye & Warren
29 12 tips for building a mobile site
By Marci Troutman, Siteminis
30 Camera-phone mobile commerce
By Rob DeStefano, Mobile Data Systems
31 A universal compliance standard will jump-start the mobile commerce industry
By Eric Holmen, SmartReply
32 ‘Tis the season for mobile
By Conrad Lisco, 5th Finger
It was Eyeline’s entry for Green Award of GSMA: they took the money, ignored the entry. Here it is for those who care:
What is the name of your policy, programme or initiative? When was it launched or introduced?
Eyeline SMS & USSD Center (SMSC) was first deployed in 2002. To the best of our knowledge, it is the most green solution in its category in the market today.
What specific environment, employee, management, product manufacturing or deployment issues are addressed by your policy, programme or initiative?
The number of exchanged SMS and USSD messages have been rising on a year to year basis. Environmental impact from such growth of SMS and USSD messaging is yet to be determined. On our side, Eyeline Communications, as a supplier of solutions enabling SMS and USSD messaging, can ensure that messages serviced by our Center have the lowest possible environmental impact.
While meeting most operators’ performance requirements (up to 3,000 msg/sec in current installations), Eyeline SMS&USSD Center shows impressive energy saving characteristics:
Preset performance: 1,000 msg/sec (SMS or one-way USSD transactions)
Required electric power: 1.2 kWh (300 Watt/hr per one idle server and 400 Watt/hr per one 100% utilized server plus one 500W/hr storage)
Required cooling: 3,500 BTU/hr (2×1000BTU+1500BTU=3500BTU/hr)
Required space: 2×1U+2U=4 Units
The system runs on Sun servers under OS Solaris, the code is developed by Eyeline. Code development took approximately 50,000 man-hours.
How do these benefit users, stakeholders, employees, or the wider world?
USERS: Eyeline SMSC in the described configuration covers the needs of up to 50 million GSM subscribers for SMS & USSD point-to-point messaging and VAS. Extended configurations can serve hundreds of millions of users.
OPERATORS: Significant drop in operating costs.
* Lower power consumption: the Center sends 180,000 SMS consuming the same energy as one hour of one 60W light bulb.
* 2-in-1: USSD and SMS centers in 1 system
* lower cost per message due to high performance.
* Center requires minimal (as compared to other solutions) cooling thus it can easily be added to an existing server room. Operator’s staff is usually surprised to find Eyeline USSD&SMSC requiring 4 units instead of one (or more) fully occupied rack stands.
* savings on support/maintenance staff: only 2 service employees are usually required on the operator’s side.
PLANET EARTH: Gets a lower carbon dioxide foot print from reduced power consumption.
How do you measure the success of your programme? How successful have you been to date in quantifiable terms?
Success of the green Eyeline’s product is measured by its coverage. To date, Eyeline SMS&USSD Center have had 7 deployments and is available to 61.5 mln subscribers in Russia country wide (single installation in Moscow), and to 40 mln subscribers regionally (6 installations).
What specific evidence would you highlight for your programme/initiative/policy or product, in terms of it contributing toward a greener economy, industry or community, or reducing carbon emissions?
The evidence comes from comparison to other SMS/USSD centers, which to the best of our knowledge use 2-3 times more space, 1.5-2 times more electricity, servicing 3-8 times less SMS.
Since there are about 3.4 billion subscribers who will send 2.3 trillion messages in 2008 (Gartner estimates), we can calculate potential energy savings from using our solution.
If Eyeline SMSC would deliver all SMS in the world, its annual electricity consumption would be 766,667 kWh. If all SMS (we will not consider USSD for a moment) centers were as efficient as Eyeline’s, the wider world would have saved at least as much as electricity as our SMSC consumes (assuming other solutions consume twice as much electricity for the same number of serviced SMS, a very reasonable assumption).
Therefore, we arrive at wasted energy in the amount of about 750 MWh – minimum – that could provide electricity to 164 European households all year round (based on Greenpeace consumption data).
What business benefits have you seen from your focus on environmental sustainability?
Today, when awareness about resource depletion and climate change is on the rise, we see more customers choosing “green” and efficient solutions that provide more and consume less. What is more important in our view is to have the most efficient solution at the lowest cost. Obviously it is a non-trivial task but, as our product demonstrates, quite solvable.
Companies choose Eyeline solutions because it shows amazing productivity being very compact and maintenance effective. Efficiency is the focus of Eyeline Communications that gave us the well deserved attention and marketing benefits.
- What plans do you have to expand and extend your policy/ programme/ initiative/product in the future? In what ways is your policy / programme/initiative/product sustainable?
We believe that messaging is here to stay and grow. Therefore solutions that provide or enhance messaging functionality will be in demand. Following the success of Eyeline SMS&USSD Center we developed related carrier-grade products, in which we re-use our green code that proved to be that efficient: Eyeline Missed Calls Alert, Universal Balance Request, SMS Extra, USSD Services Aggregation Portal. Each of these products have interoperability with our SMS&USSD Center and have at least one commercial deployment.
We also plan to provide value added services on a global scale by extending functionality and increasing utilization of deployed Eyeline SMS&USSD centers. As one example of our green initiative, which now undergoes beta-testing, is an arrival tracking application which sends pre-set text messages to a subscriber’s recipients when she turns on her phone upon arrival that reduces unnecessary network utilization.