Unstructured Supplementary Solution Information (USSD) is an interactions method still commonly utilized in nations throughout Africa.

This sensation is not seen in lots of various other nations or continents as the majority of have actually taken on smart device applications as a substitute for this even more basic method.

In South Africa it is still utilized to finish features regardless of what an individuals socio-economic standing or smart device accessibility is. Features like accessing mobile network solutions, basic financial and also speaking to federal government is done via USSD as opposed to smart device applications.

Extra just recently, the South African federal government in collaboration with GovChat and also Praekelt, established COVIDConnect – a solution which permits residents to learn if they have actually COVID-19 and also obtain clinical suggestions.

Although the federal government likewise offers this solution via a WhatsApp crawler, the addition of the USSD alternative talks to the chosen use this older procedure.

What is USSD

Unstructured Supplementary Solution Information (USSD) is an International System for Mobile Communications (GSM) method that has actually been around given that the 1990 s.

It functions by sending out a demand, in the type of a code like *100 #, from a phone to the USSD entrance( telecommunications network) to the USSD application, which returns an action based upon the particular demand. The customer can after that react to these triggers by inputting numbers which ask for particular feedbacks relating to even more comprehensive questions.

This is corrected the mobile network as the code is sent out straight to a network’s computer system devoted to USSD that will certainly send this details to and fro.

Considering that it has basic capability it functions conveniently on an attribute phone, and also also one with a black and also white display, as the majority of USSD applications are formatted to be as basic and also monochrome as feasible.

It just needs a network link and also, when not complimentary, makes use of a portion of a cent, unlike an SMS which is a lot more costly. It likewise does not need a net link or room on the phone as it does not require to be downloaded and install.

South Africa, smart devices and also net link

South Africa has truly excellent smart device infiltration, particularly for Africa yet this does not show overall mobile usage in the nation.

According to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) State of the ICT Sector in South Africa 2020 report, smart device infiltration for 2019 depends on 91.2%, a considerable dive from 2018’s 81.7%.

Nevertheless, this information does not separate smart devices per customer. So this 91% does not suggest that 90% of South Africans have a mobile phone as some most likely have greater than one, some just have function phones and also some (though an extremely little portion) have none.

The record likewise specifies that South Africa’s net insurance coverage has actually enhanced. The record describes just how nationwide insurance coverage for 3G has actually climbed to 99.7% and also 4G/LTE depends on 92.8%.

These statistics talk to the passion and also uptake of applications like WhatsApp, which is thought about South Africa’s favorite messaging system and also most prominent application on the whole.

Statista reported that since February 2020, 58% of South African cellphone proprietors make use of the application.

So why still make use of USSD with a lot smart device fostering, net insurance coverage and also application usage? The responses seem around information, its simpleness and also access.

The information problem

South Africa’s battle on information prices is comprehensive and also continuous.

UK firm Cable.co.uk launched a report ranking South Africa 148 out of 228 nations for the expensive rate of mobile data transfer. While various other nations fresh Zealand and also Canada have a lot more costly information, usually South Africa rates amongst one of the most costly for information in Africa.

These costly rates are a trouble for lots of South Africans that can not pay for approximately R99 for 1GB.

Although there are less costly 30- day WhatsApp packages, that make utilizing applications a lot more economical, if provided the selection in between finishing an activity by investing information or obtaining what you require absolutely free or close to complimentary, the majority of would certainly pick complimentary.

Simpleness and also Availability

The simpleness of the USSD system is a significant drawcard. It fasts and also reliable to search for your information equilibrium with a straightforward code as opposed to learning the provider application.

Eldrid Jordaan, Chief Executive Officer of GovChat, clarified that the COVIDConnect solutions are provided over both WhatsApp and also via USSD, and also USSD is the a lot more prominent of both.

According to Jordaan, Praekelt that run the screening solution component of COVIDConnect, claimed at the very least 60% of the communications via this solution are via USSD.

” Despite the fact that the systems we are developing are cross-platform, USSD is still one of the most utilized,” claimed Jordaan.

Therefore, it is most likely that USSD is below to remain. The prominent system has actually been built on given that its very first version and also will certainly end up being a lot more effective as its usages broaden. Currently the intro of chatbots within USSD are increasing its objective to a feasible two-way interaction room as opposed to simply an input-output procedure.


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