Hike today launched a new product in the Indian market called Hike Total. It is a custom build developed on Android, which lets users access essential services like texting, news, rail information, weather, make and receive payments without an active internet connection.
This will also pave the way for customers to get on data by providing data packs starting at Re 1. With the help of this new custom operating system, Hike is targeting the next billion people who are still using a feature phone. To make all of this possible, the company is using a proprietary USSD based technology which it has also patented.
Hike at the launch event mentioned that Hike Total has four key elements to it that help it function. First is the Single Login, which allows the user to utilise his phone number for all of the services like Messaging, Wallet, Cricket scores, etc. The second being Light Services, which means that all of the services provided by Hike on Total will take between 100KB to 1MB, thus ensuring that the apps can function fast and smooth.
The third one is the most interesting, which is Works Without Data. This means that all of the services in Total can be accessed without an active data connection. The company has gone ahead and developed a proprietary technology based on the USSD-protocol which encrypts, compresses and transmits the data to users without the need for an active data connection.
Lastly, the Sachet Data Packs, which will allow users to purchase data when the need be with their Hike Wallet balance. The packs start from as low as Re 1 and will be available from Hike’s partners Airtel, BSNL and Aircel. Kavin Bharti Mittal in an exclusive comment to Techook, said that they are in talks with Idea and Vodafone, and want to get them onboard as soon as possible.
“For the next billion true mobile first users, coming online can still be quite complicated and intimidating. Simplify, simplify, simplify. That’s all we’ve been doing. We’ve taken the 15-20 step process of someone coming online and made it into only a few steps. Buy a phone, turn it on and you are good to go. Everything, all the essential services, all work out of the box even without data,”
said Kavin Bharti Mittal in a statement.
Hike Total will be available on four smartphones initially, manufactured by Intex and Karbonn. The Intex Aqua Lions N1, Intex Aqua Lions T1, the Intex Aqua Lions T1-Lite and the Karbonn A40 Indian. All the devices will be available starting March 1 and will be offline exclusive. Hike will also be offering the users of these smartphones up to Rs 200 cashback to spend on Total services.