On-the-go services are undeniably a part of the future in communication technology, service based companies are in a race to keep customers in touch with their service brand even when busy, hence the world has seen loads of products rolled out.
But with companies trying to keep up with the trend, there have been some swings of desperation that would get any digitally alive person questioning, is this service really necessary to customers? That’s was my question when I received a text message from Daily News media company advertising their “News on the GO”.
The service is not new to the company, “News on the GO is back- stay updated!” in the text showed it was once running in a time I don’t remember and stopped at some point. I thought of three things
- We’re not in the SMS era anymore,
- At that price for access, the service is simply absurd,
- Well this might be useful to my grandmother,
- And who’s that busy anyway (to check news headlines & browse the few first lines)
What’s “Daily News on the GO”
In my understanding, it is a news service that sends mini-news articles as text messages to mobile phones for ‘on-the-the-go’ mobile network subscribers.
How to subscribe to “News-on-the Go”
To start receiving news (on an Econet line) you send a text message with the word ‘GO’ to 35579 (don’t know on other ‘mobile’ networks in Zimbabwe the numbers might be different), and after that you’ll start receiving news daily on a 3-day-freebie, you only start paying (the process is automated) the daily service fee only after the 3 free days.
How much does it cost?
“News on the GO” texts will cost you US$0.12 cents/per day.
Is the service worth it?
The price at 0.12cents a day, only for repeated news snippets twice a day in a time when Zimbabwean mobile network subscribers are grasping airtime saving concepts is simply in not understandable. Parting away with 0.12cents for being ‘busy’ is absurd.
If an ‘on the go’ person were so for thirty days, it means they would part with US$3.60. Yet in this day in age, my guess is people who are busy own mobile smartphones which can access the internet, yet with the sentiment of daily use that is in the service, for that amount a subscriber of one the three biggest network operators in Zimbabwe could,
1) Add just US$1.40 and to purchase $5.00 worth of Netone Fusion package 300+ monthly Mb of data that comes along with other benefits.
2) Use US$3.00 to purchase Econet 100 + 100 MBs valid for one month (note they are separated from other data plans you might want to use)
3) Or for US$3.00 again, make use of Telecel’s 76 MBs valid for one month.
Do what with the data?
“News on the Go” is already competing with internet based mobile applications that provide news services and are built with busy lives in mind. Instead, an “On the go person with a smartphone can quickly access mini news articles and headlines from an application like Zim News Binu at a rate of around 0.02 cents for a countless number pages of news from different Zimbabwean newspapers that are online, or at quite an increased rate (not that much when a subscriber’s browser is optimized for saving), web browsers can always be used to check news headings and snippets, for example when using Google to search for Zimbabwean News on chrome, the layout already displays all the important news headlines in a way that will allow you to have a quick check, on the way, saving your time & at a lesser price.
Also, there is already another almost similar service but with a better twist, Apha Media Holding’s at 0.80 cents per week will give you daily access to news from, Newsday Weekender, Newsday, The Standard etc. So already for lesser, subscribers can get much more ‘news on the go’ for only US$ 3.20.
The upside of “New-on-the-go”
Besides the obvious advantages, you won’t miss an important article published on daily news and you don’t have to remind yourself daily to check the news. News on the go can be used by MNO subscribers who for many reasons cannot access the internet.
Daily News will earn USUS$360.00 for 1000 ‘News on the Go’ Subscribers who are active for thirty days.
What would have been better?
If the service was sincere, although for now I don’t know what price there is to pay for the provider, lowering the daily price to around 0.3-5cents a day would be understandable, and building an optimized app with lower data consumption rates would be a better option.