What is Network Initiated USSD?

Network Initiated USSD is basically an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data message that is sent by a network to a mobile subscriber’s phone.

This means that WASPS (like Integrat) can facilitate such a session between a company and its customers due to the relationship it has with the customer’s mobile network operator.

The message can contain anything the company wishes to relate to their subscribers – usually in the form of a menu that automatically pops onto the receiver’s mobile screen. For example: it can perform the functions of a live consultant by giving the customer the opportunity to choose between product or service options.

A Network Initiated USSD message can be sent regardless if the company wants the customer to respond directly on the message or not. In other words, the customer doesn’t HAVE to respond on a message in order for the system to work. This helps to make USSD a versatile marketing tool, because a company has free creative reign over the what, how and why of their content.

One of the greatest uses of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data that is often overlooked, is that it is one of the easiest ways to run a competition. A business can have their customers enter a competition by:

  • Purchasing a product with a unique phone number on it
  • Dialling the USSD string from their mobile device
  • And completing a form/ survey/ questionnaire

The company will be able to receive a good number of entries (depending on the type of business it can amount to tens of thousands). No messy admin problems and successful brand awareness in a jiffy.

USSD is also widely used to conduct transactions (sending pins, purchasing products) because it is considered more secure due to the fact that the message can’t be stored or forwarded.

Don’t forget, a customer still has to opt-in willingly to receive your Network Initiated USSD messages. A business can’t simply send mobile marketing material randomly to phone numbers.

Get in touch with Integrat for all your Unstructured Supplementary Service Data needs and watch your business grow into the company you have always dreamt of.

Herman Cremer
A seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in digital & mobile solutions and advertising.


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