The biggest Russia’s operators – MTS, MegaFon and VimpelCom – or, as they are called, the “Big Trio” are being heavily criticized by Federal Anti-monopoly Service for high roaming prices inside and outside the country. A call from another country for a subscriber of these three carriers is indeed not a cheap pleasure.
The situation with prices within the country is still not clear. However, “Big Trio” is now finding solutions for reducing international roaming prices. Previously carriers justified high prices as a result of high demands of foreign partners.
One of the solutions is the new service “Go-Go-Roaming” by MTS, which allows reducing the cost of calls by approximately 5 times. It uses USSD Call-back technology. To make a call you need to enter USSD number *137*, country code, subscriber’s number and # sign. After sending this USSD command the operator calls back and connects you with the called subscriber.
Despite the fact that you save about 70% on the cost of the call, this innovation has received negative comments. Some say that “the main drawback is inconvenience for a user, who needs to dial long sequence of symbols. Theoretically, of course, it is possible to add a USSD string in a contact list to avoid inconvenience…”
Well, it is a not a TV program with Stephen Hawking about the theory of time travel, and it is, in fact, practically possible to add USSD numbers to the contact list. Just like any other regular number. They were once added to a contact list too. Combine this with the fact that it saves up to 85% on calls in roaming and suddenly dialing an extra couple of digits is not so inconvenient.
One other criticism is that a consumer won’t bother with finding out how the service works. As a company which supports USSD and simply loves it, we of course have another opinion. USSD, as a mobile technology, is one of the most straightforward things possible on a mobile phone, both for the consumer and the service provider. There are other quite popular ways to cut costs in roaming like SimTravel cards. It requires going to an office, buying a SIM, and replacing it with your SIM card, etc. That’s what we call inconvenience.
So, don’t get misinformed. If you want to make a mobile service, the first technology you should be looking at is USSD. To research, read our blog and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.