Ponder this- chatting with people across the world using your analogue phone, let’s say Nokia 7020 or 1100 without internet.
You can still create chat groups just like on Whatsapp where when a member sends a voice or text message, everyone in the group gets it regardless of time zones, phone types and even networks.
This is not a script for a fictional movie. In fact, 5.8 billion people across the globe can now use these services provided by OneM , an emerging world giant in mobile telecommunication, which has designed simple, cheap and effective technology that allows people to chat online for free without internet or smart phones
The unique innovation that marries traditional and modern day technology is fast growing in the world, with countries like Uganda and Tanzania already it in the region.
Speaking exclusively to TechMoran from the United Kingdom, ONEm Chief Executive Officer Christopher Richardson said that this innovation is specifically designed to help people in the developing world to exploit available resources for positive social economic transformation
‘’ONEm is working with existing mobile phone operators to reach and help billions of people in the worlds who have no access to internet to create and share information at much affordable fee,’ said Christopher.
He explained that ONEm in Africa will give face to an old adage-Information is power, as it is designed to fuel people to people communication.
If a service provider like Safaricom partners with ONEm, subscribers can easily form chat groups where they can share information i.e security alerts and sale merchandises.
In this case, Safaricom gets a chance increase its functionality hence tapping in more subscribers. Subscribers on the other hand benefit from multiple information channels
How it works
ONEm partners with the existing mobile operators to enable users connect with each other with their membership ID for unlimited conversations either person to person or as a group.
In Tanzania for instance, ONEm is partnering with Smart Tanzania, a regional mobile phone provider in Uganda and Burundi to give its customers a chance to access group chat service and internet content such as Wikipedia and Reuter’s news without the use of data.
In Uganda, the firm is partnering with Independent, where the publisher is offering its news on the ONEm platform for readers in Uganda and the rest of the World.
Postboard and xGroups
One of these products is Post board, a community driven bulletin board where any user can post anything they like whether its business or social
This tool works like classified ads where people can buy and sell things
Its functionality mirrors that of WhatsApp where group members can share information. It however goes beyond individuals and a single group as it allows users to share information in different groups
The Ministry Internal Security for instance can buy a Post board code from ONEm which it can use to share and exchange security information with chiefs, village leaders or general public across the country via Safaricom, Airtel or Orange telephony
In this case, the ministry caters for the code’s post, allowing members of the public to receive information for free and engage with each other at normal fee charged by Safaricom, Airtel or Orange
This means that the mobile phone operator who partners with ONEm increases both revenue and customer subscription
When the users send voice/MMS or SMS via this platform, it is only their names that are displayed and not their phone numbers. Only the operator and ONEm are able to access mobile phone numbers
This means that users are secured from stokers and cyber criminals who can use their phone details for criminal activities.
Work with existing mobile operators-Through the Operator model (TTO)
Christopher explained that ONEm’s Through the Operator Model (TTO) give partner operator free access to the data centre to enable its customers to send voice and text messages to many receivers, and access other Internet-based data such as Wikipedia at a small fee.
‘’This is opposed to OTT (Over the top) system which works over the user’s data networks to access services where operators do not charge anything,’’ he added.
The ONEm ecosystem allows operators to innovate quickly without any investment in additional infrastructure.