Airtel Ghana has introduced an innovative product onto the Ghanaian market, which enables Airtel customers to send SMS or text messages to 19 of their contacts at the cost of one SMS, which is 4Gp.
The product dubbed, “SMS Grupp”, is the first on the Ghanaian market, and is targeted at satisfying the millions of customers who constantly send the same SMS to several of their contacts to do so at less cost and to increase the rate of interaction among customers via SMS.
Manager for Value Added Services at Airtel Ghana, Yaw Antwi Boadu explained that the new product has been developed to satisfy the millions of people who rely on SMS for their communication needs, and for social and business interaction.
“Our research has revealed that our customers and others we are hoping to get on board our network use SMS for various purposes including invitations for social events like weddings, and for other networking purposes. We thus developed this product to lessen the burden on sending multiple texts of the same content to several people”, he said.
Boadu added that, despite the growth of smart phones, there are still a lot of people who rely on low end non smart phones that do not have systems which enable them to use data enabled applications for messaging.
“SMS Grupp thus offers such people a good alternative to remain interactive with their contacts and to share information at a low rate,” he said.
Boadu said customers who wish to subscribe to the service should send “START” to the short code 838 to activate, after which they follow prompts to set up groups. He said customers could form a maximum of 20 groups with 19 people per group.
Head of Corporate Communications at Airtel Ghana, Donald Gwira said Airtel is geared up to take over the innovation space in the industry, adding that “we have always been noted for this and we are not resting on our oars.”
Airtel Ghana has in the past few years delivered industry-first products, including Facebook Zero and Ghana’s first 3.75G network.
Meanwhile pundits have said that Airtel move could just be one of many to be expected from other telcos in response to the dwindling SMS revenues as the more affordable web-based messaging applications like Whatsapp, Viber, Tango, BBM, and many others take over the market.