South Africa and Africa in general is a booming mobile market. One problem that many people seem to be having is crossing over from prepaid to contract. It’s quite a cumbersome process that frustrates many.
With the mobile market growing at the rapid pace that it is in the developing world there need to be more solutions popping up. I was alerted to one such solution that I think illustrates that market is not only growing in size but in competitiveness too.
Flexicell‘s primary business is to convert prepaid product users to month-to-month contract. They do this in a slightly different way though; by deducting a set amount from your bank account and loading it in to your cell account as airtime month to month. It’s a contract, but month to month. They basically get rid of the long term 24 month tie-in vibe. You simply give them a one month notice period to end your contract and it’s over. Simple and effective apparently.
Apparently the airtime purchasing price on their month to month “contract” is significantly cheaper than prepaid airtime. Which makes it somewhat interesting as a proposition too.
If you’ve given Flexicell a try let me know how it goes.
Good to see local companies innovating in the more steadfast markets.
It seems as though a major event being held in SA is finally making use of the massive potential of mobile phones.
With mobile penetration in Africa and South Africa more specifically being huge (some say 97% of our population have cellphones) it is a wonder that it has taken this long to use Cellphones for live updates, live info, live streaming and viewing of events that they can’t get to.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament being hosted in SA and has decided to make use of migg33 to give cricket fans mobile chats with players, let them meet players and cheerleaders, chat with other cricket fans live during matches, stay up-to-date on the latest news from their favourite teams and get live ball–by-ball commentary and scores.
I am sure that if this is publicised correctly and activated in the correct way it will be well received, as long as the execution of the features is up to scratch this could be a very exciting initiative for sports fans and followers the world over.
Initial live chat schedule so far:
Glenn McGrath (Delhi Daredevils)
Daniel Vettori (Delhi Daredevils)
Adam Gilchrist (captain of Deccan Chargers)
Bangalore Royal Challengers – 3+ times per week (players, coaches, cheerleaders)
Many, many more to come –Schedule being finalized with teams in South Africa
South Africans can get in on the IPL excitement by texting “cricket” to 31273, or by logging onto m.mig33.com/cricket on their cell phone.
I received a press release from a good friend of mine today. It’s pretty interesting and extremely relevant to this blog. SA does rock and it’s often very hard to explain this to local people, let alone foreigners.
What you will need to experience the below is relatively simple: A cellphone, a connection, The Grid and bob’s your uncle. To access Mobikasi, sms mobikasi to 33313 (50c).
Mobile social network The Grid on 5 November launches Mobikasi, South
Africa¹s first geo-tagged documentary for cellphones, which explores youth
culture in Soweto. Mobikasi utilises The Grid¹s LBS (location-based service)
capabilities to tag real-life physical locations and link them to relevant
Users can explore Sowetan youth culture on their cellphones from anywhere in
South Africa through The Grid¹s map interface, or by physically touring the
famous township and watching documentary clips on their phones at the
locations where they were shot.
How’s it work?
I have a profile on The Grid already so I simply searched for and found the Mobikasi group, joined it and began downloading and viewing the videos (blips) in the group. I am incredibly impressed with the ease of use, simplicity in accessing the group, grid and videos. Very quick to download and incredibly viewable content that isn’t at all typically condescending, insulting or aggravating as much “documentary” content emerging out of SA seems to be. In fact I found the videos to be well produced and very cool.
The location-based documentary looks at people, music, fashion, social
issues and places of interest. Instead of showing the twenty-five minute
documentary in a linear fashion from start to finish, Mobikasi splits the
content up into twenty-five inserts of one minute each. Each one-minute clip
covers a different topic that is relevant to the youth in Soweto and is
geo-tagged to the location where it was shot. This means that viewers can
now explore Soweto’s vibrant youth culture by virtually “travelling” through
a mobile streetmap of the township and stopping off at various locations to
enjoy the one-minute video clips.
The first Mobikasi episode features, among others, a street fashion crew
called the Smarteez, music producers Hempza and Vikinduku, a popular hair
braider named Anna and the reigning Miss Soweto, Rochelle Mothapo. Also
featured are Soweto¹s premier hangouts Sedibeng, Back Room and the popular
Sunday buy-and-braai spot Panyaza.
I just read a post with some interesting results on Engadget. Basically, 61% of Americans that participated in the poll and were old enough to vote (18) said that they would vote via SMS. 8 out of 10 (80%) of people who participated and were under the age of 18 said that they would also vote with their phones.
In a country (SA) struggling with voter apathy and overwhelmed with mobile activity I think this is a very interesting question.
I think that if I had almost 100% certainty that the voting polls on my cellphone were above board and would work then I would probably vote via SMS.