Voice based value added service is known as voice portal. This is good revenue source for both mobile and land line telecom companies. Just like SMS Portal, voice portal also provides similar services but accessed through IVR. With advent of voice enabled menu using speech recognition technique, IVR has become very popular as well as user-friendly application for both mobile and land line subscribers.
IVR can be thought as platform to deliver content to users. The content may be anything, from latest news to mobile ring tone. I have written about Technical challenges and commercial challenges in a voice portal in my previous posts. IVR as content delivery platform has advantage:-
1. Its is easy to dial using the keypad while SMS is not easy to type on mobile phones.
2. Few contents are better delivered on IVR. For example, ring tone can be heard on IVR before it is downloaded by user.
3. It is limited by number of characters like in SMS. For example, complete news can be heard on IVR. Same goes for other contents like jokes, breaking news, etc.
4. IVR can be used by any kind of mobile phone instrument. Other content delivery platform like WAP does not work on low cost mobile phones. SMS does not work on many land line telephone instruments. It may be a major factor in a price sensitive market like India where maximum mobile subscribers use low cost handsets. India is a huge mobile market with more than 400million mobile subscribers.
Here I would like to list few services which are popular in India:-
1. Listening to Music
I find it amusing that people listen to music on mobile phone in this era of Ipod, FM Radio etc.! The main reason is, FM is available in major cities in India. The initial investment is high for many Indians for IPod or MP3 players. But many IVR VAS players in India has provided option to listen unlimited songs with a monthly subscription of paltry Rs. 30.
Yes, people do hear jokes on IVR!
This is an interesting application for IVR VAS.