What is VAS ?
A value-added service (VAS) is a popular telecommunications industry term for non-core services, or, in short, all services beyond standard voice calls and fax transmissions. However, it can be used in any service industry, for services available at little or no cost, to promote their primary business. In the telecommunications industry, on a conceptual level, value-added services add value to the standard service offering, spurring subscribers to use their phone more and allowing the operator to drive up their ARPU. For mobile phones, technologies like SMS, MMS, USSD and data access were historically usually considered value-added services, but in recent years SMS, MMS, USSD and data access have more and more become core services, and VAS therefore has begun to exclude those services.
Mobile VAS services can be categorized into:
Consumer behavior VAS
A distinction may also be made between standard (peer-to-peer) content and premium-charged content. These are called mobile value-added services (MVAS), which are often simply referred to as VAS.
Value-added services are supplied either in-house by the mobile network operator themselves or by a third-party value-added service provider (VASP), also known as a content provider (CP) such as All Headline News or Reuters.
VASPs typically connect to the operator using protocols like Short message peer-to-peer protocol (SMPP), connecting either directly to the short message service centre (SMSC) or, increasingly, to a messaging gateway that gives the operator better control of the content.(By Wikipedia)
What Is USSD ?
Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), sometimes referred to as “Quick Codes” or “Feature codes”, is a communications protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the mobile network operator’s computers. USSD can be used for WAP browsing, prepaid callback service, mobile-money services, location-based content services, menu-based information services, and as part of configuring the phone on the network.
USSD messages are up to 182 alphanumeric characters long. Unlike Short Message Service (SMS) messages, USSD messages create a real-time connection during a USSD session. The connection remains open, allowing a two-way exchange of a sequence of data. This makes USSD more responsive than services that use SMS.(By Wikipedia)
The Benefits of USSD
- USSD works on all GSM mobile devices.
- USSD enables you to reach customers who were previously difficult to reach.
- USSD doesn’t need any application installation.
- USSD can integrate into any business system using a web service.
- USSD is free to use so your customers don’t have to pay a cent, which means they will be amenable to USSD services.
- You’ll save money as USSD doesn’t cost a lot to implement and use.
- USSD is a quick way to exchange data in real-time as it is session-based.
- USSD’s menu-based applications enable more user interaction.
- USSD is easy and convenient to use.
- You do not need an internet connection as USSD works on voice connectivity.
- USSD doesn’t charge the customer for roaming.
- USSD is more secure than SMSs.
- USSD is faster than SMSs (up to seven times faster).
- USSD allows for messaging to take place during a call.
- USSD can easily be customised to suit your business needs.
- USSD allows you to increase revenue by making it easy for customers to recharge accounts and generate higher call volumes.
USSD can be used to provide the following services:
- Mobile banking
- Updating mobile software
- Customer self-management and service
- Voting and polling
- News and sports updates
- Currency updates
- Ticket purchases
- Call centres using USSD to replace IVR (voice support)
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