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Friday, July 15, 2005

Vmobile’s SMS competition gets hotter

The Short Messaging Service (SMS) competition promo introduced by a leading Global System for Mobile communications, (GSM) operator, Vmobile Nigeria, otherwise known as the Rolling Out Service Everywhere (ROSE) , has continued to garner momentum.

Vmobile introduced the competition for its subscribers and ITRealms gathered that it has continued to get hotter as subscribers vote through SMS for their choice of location for expansion by the network get more interesting.

ITRealms gathered that the competition, has already witnessed increase voting messages received.

The expansion plan will see Vmobile Nigeria investing a sum of $2 billion over the next 24 months, deploying 3,000 base stations, and the construction of complete transportation backbone across Nigeria.

Head of Division, PR, Events, and Sponsorships, Vmobile Nigeria, Mr. Obinna Ariwodo said the company wants subscribers to influence its decision on the next town that will come alive on the Vmobile network by participating in the on-going ROSE SMS coverage competition.

The expected towns that will be connected to the Vmobile network in the first quarter of the coverage programme have been printed in fliers and national newspapers.

Each of these towns, Mr. Ariwodo noted has a code number attached to it while information on the town code numbers could also be received via SMS once a subscriber sends a SMS with the name of a preferred town to 39800.

To participate, subscribers are expected to send an SMS with the town code of preferred location to 39800, and an automated response confirming entry will be sent to the voter.

Each SMS is equivalent to one vote and every subscriber can vote as many times as he/she wants. This will be charged at the normal SMS tariff of N15 peak period and N10 off peak period.

The vote can also be interactive among friends and families on the Vmobile network. Through this a subscriber is able to increase his/her town’s chances of winning by referring his/her friend by sending their phone numbers and the preferred town code to 39800. But each referral must be contained in a separate SMS as it counts for just one vote.

The first quarter of the competition commenced on 1st of July and will end on 30th September, 2005. At the end of this quarter, votes cast will be counted and the three towns with the highest number of votes will be switched on within 45 days.

The winning towns and cities will also be published in newspapers and a notifying SMS will be sent to subscribers whose towns won.

Project ROSE is a programme of Vee Net works Limited, the company trading as Vmobile. It involves the construction of an additional 4,000 kilometers of microwave transmission backbone and an increase in the number of switches on the Vmobile network.

Once completed, the company’s network capacity will be increased to accommodate a minimum of 10 million subscribers.

The number of its VCare centers and VStores will also be increased to give subscribers greater convenience and access to Vmobile’s offices, products, and services.

ITRealms recalls that the rules of the game specified that subscribers are only allowed to vote for towns listed in brochures/posters and published in newspapers. Even as there will be no voting for areas in Lagos.

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