My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network, Digicel Hive and Rising Stars Connection

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network, Digicel Hive and Rising Stars Connection

Telecom Provider Digicel, the Telecoms Provider that claims to be the “Bigger, Better, Network” has let loose a media frenzy with regards to recent changes with regards to the sudden departure of its all star cast. Namely the host Yendi Phillips and the chill room host Kerie-Ann Lewis-Thombs, otherwise known as “Kiki” as stated in the article “Rising Star host search tomorrow - Kiki addresses rumors”, published Monday March 29th 2010, The Monday Star.

These changes aside, there is a slew of other changes mentioned in the article, which seem to be geared towards making the show more interactive, meaningful and memorable, both as it relates to viewers making important choices in terms of who is the next host (Ms. Kitty, the “fluffy” diva is the chill room host…………albeit Tami Chynn, the Certified Diva would be a better fit).

It would also put to rest doubts to some extent the perception that the show is somehow rigged, a common comment by suspicious members of John Public, as this year the shows longer format would mean that the performers can make ample use of their onstage performance to not only increase their chances of winning but also make a lasting impression on John Public.

With talk of a “surprise” as mentioned by the show’s producer, Sharon Schroeter that will be incorporated in the set design as hinted in the television interview on “Smile Jamaica Morning Time” aired on Friday 26th March 2010, Television Jamaica which from the face of it, could be anything from:

  1. A go-go dancing pole
  2. Touch sensitive set floor that light up when your move around

Or (dare I even utter this?)….. the use of holography in a demonstration of the usefulness of WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Network to host a tele-presence conversation on stage, similar to the concept used in the movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009), where the technology was used to hold meetings and conversations with people very distant from the location.

If that last bit is for real, as holography does actually exist and is used mostly for advertising, it would be quite a treat for people to be “in the show” without having to actually come to the studio, a capability holography affords and which is not far fetched.

Especially with news of 3-D television sets and Broadcasters planning to broadcast in 3-D as stated in the article “Samsung, Panasonic start selling 3-D TV's this week”, published Tue March 9 2010, 11:04 am ET, By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer, AP, Yahoo! News.

This is also the Skype partnership with major television makers to introduce video calling as stated in the article “Skype on TV: Will the videophone finally be reality?” published March 2, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

I will definitely be keeping my ear to the ground to hear more about this interesting development, as it must be something of significance to warrant such quiet.

Telecom Provider Digicel can thus use this opportunity to launch their offensive against CLARO and its free calling offers, which are a permanent part of CLARO’s Network, signaling that Telecom Provider Digicel, albeit unfazed by the competition, is still interested in giving people value for money.

Especially as the potential exists that as the Global Recession and its effects on the Economy and spending power of customers wears on and MNP eventually comes on stream as stated in the article “OUR signals policy shift on portability - says Jamaica running out of phone numbers”, published Friday November 20, 2009, by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Customers may wish to defect to CLARO, as their calling rates and free calling offers would make it mighty tempting for customers who have the inkling to switch to do so.

Thus to generate a little hype, it is being suggested that a new prepaid calling plan be introduced called Hive which is a concatenation of the words “High Five” and in essence an extension of the concept of the current Gimme Five Promotion, which has begun to wear a bit thin since it has been overexposed to the public since Christmas 2009

As such it should be losing traction with customers, who, though appreciative of the gesture from Telecom Provider Digicel, are somewhat upset with the lack of new promotional activity from Telecom Provider Digicel.

This despite proudly announcing that their Face book page membership has surpassed one hundred thousand (100,000) customers as stated in the article Digicel gains 100,000 Facebook fans in under 100 days”, published Wednesday, 17 March 2010 by TechJamaica.

Which is not an uncommon event for famous people such as Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears, who are “Twi-lebrities” who have followings in excess of three million (3,000,000) on Face book and Twitter as stated in the article “Twitter turns four”, published Thursday March 25th 2010, Thursday Life, The Jamaica Observer.

This makes Telecom Provider Digicel look a little petty and, as most young people would declare, rather “lame”. Even more “lame” is the fact that Telecom Provider Digicel, on the eve of the launch of its Wimax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) offering, set to challenge CLARO and LIME 3G offering this Summer near the end of Rising Stars, are still has yet to launch any new promotions aside from the now obviously recycled Gimme Five Promotion.

They are apparently is struggling to get people to buy their mobile phones, with the exception of sales which persons anticipate and wait to make purchases, as evidenced from my own visits to Telecom Provider Digicel stores in May Pen, Clarendon.

Thus the obvious is true: Telecom Provider Digicel not only needs a new Promotion, they also are in need of a new product line and Hive fits the bill!

Hive would basically be a promotion and product combo in which customers with an old Telecom Provider Digicel, LIME or CLARO phone can trade up to ANY phone FREE, with the exception of Blackberries or Data capable phones.

Strongly recommended are mobile phones that are sliders and optimized for “texters”, such as the LG Neon, Zenon and Karma as suggested by the article “AT&T pushes quick-messaging phones”, published March 24, 2010 6:10 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon CTIA 2010 – CNET News.

This is now a new craze that is gradually catching on, thanks, ironically to the Gimme Five Promotion and students that like to have a mobile phone that has messaging without having to pay for a data plan.

Once they trade up, the customer would have to be registered using Government of Jamaica approved identification i.e. Voters ID, Drivers License, Passport, TRN, Birth Certificate and get a new SIM card and a new mobile phone instrument.

Phone instruments in which the Mobile Phone Instruments (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMEI and SIM Cards (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMSI are locked or connected in the Switch in a database in such a manner that if the persons attempts to change the SIM Card.

Telecom Provider Digicel’s Network will detect the mismatch and block the Mobile Phone Instruments from being able to function on Telecom Provider Digicel’s Mobile Network, necessary for this particular promotional service to work.

Once the person has the phone, however, they must top-up with JA$1000 in either JA$500 amounts or JA$200 amounts and send *189#, which I chose as “8” and “9” are the symbolic number representation for the letters “H” and “I”.

Once the customer activates their Hive account, they will be required to have the Customer Care Agent sign them up for a Telecom Provider Digicel InTune free for a one month subscription, the amount for the subscription being deducted from their account each month and sign up the customer to the Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network via either a laptop or workstation available at the Customer Care Agents offices

This would guide the customer thought the process of selecting Ring Back Ads, SMS Ads, MMS Ads, Call Ads to promote the product and series of the various companies who have signed on to Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network to advertise and promote their products and services via this interesting and exciting advertising medium, which is a win-win situation for both Telecom Provider Digicel, customers and the companies who have joined on to promote their products and services.

Members of the Hive Network would then have the following benefits, made possible thanks to the miracles of VOIP:

1.      Calling any other Telecom Provider Digicel number not on the Hive plan at one flat rate of JA$3.00
2.      Free Calling, SMS, MMS to any three (3) customers who are also on the Hive plan
3.      Call international numbers for JA$1.00 per minute on both local, USA, Canada and the UK on the weekends.
4.      Automatic membership to Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network and thus be able to receive free Loyalty Credit just for advertising for companies as well as free geo-location related services.
5.      Automatically be entered into any future giveaways and promotions.

Despite receiving Loyalty Credit from being a member of the Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network, Hive members have still to top up with JA$1000, as the Switch will record this as a separate amount of money from the Loyalty Credit, which only lasts seven (7) days and kicks in ONLY after the user has used up all of the JA$1000 in the Hive account

Effectively making the Hive promotion possibly the first product similar to that of CLARO’s free calling plans or even LIME SupaPak without calling it that outright, as the customer on Hive will rarely have the chance to use the Loyalty Credit, meanwhile garnering advertising revenue for Telecom Provider Digicel.

The subscription for the Telecom Provider Digicel InTunes can be deducted either from the JA$1000 or from the Loyalty Credit, as the Loyalty Credit is only generated based on advertising, so the more calls the persons receives, thus inferring a Ring Back Tone Ad and Call Ads and the more SMS and MMS the persons sends, the more SMS Ads and MMS Ads are delivered and the more Loyalty Credit the person earn.

Best of all, this product is mathematically sound and has be modeled using MATLAB 6.5, and on that basis both Hive and Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network are deemed as successful as they both make profit in the long run, assuming that:

  1. The customer’s credit top up on Hive expires every twenty one (21) days
  2. The person receives on average two (2) calls per hour within the daylight period from 6am to 10pm each day
  3. The advertising revenue from the companies is sufficiently high enough
  4. Mobile Phone Instruments (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMEI and SIM Cards (mobile, fixed line mobile, landline or wired /wireless modems) IMSI are locked as previously described
  5. Loyalty Credit received for advertising lasts form only seven (7) days
Also the suggested logo is as shown below:

The Hive Promotion, which is the flip side of the Hive product, would involve a continuation of Gimme Five Promotion but would instead use the concept of Seven Degrees of Separation.

A statistical anomaly in which people are said to be able to send a message to anyone on a Network without knowing the persons number by simply contacting their nearest friend and telling them to relay the message on until it reaches the person, usually in less than seven (7) calls.

This promotional concept is similar to the mathematical mystery of being unable to fold a sheet of paper more than seven times no matter how large or what material the paper is made from.

Telecom Provider Digicel can enlist the use of celebrities, athletes, Reggae and Dancehall Artiste who are on Telecom Provider Digicel InTunes to demonstrate the concept to the public in a series of social situation advertisements that show how we are all connected to each other on the Telecom Provider Digicel Network without even knowing the other persons number.

Just their name only and how easy it is to find anyone on the Telecom Provider Digicel Network via this Seven Degree of Separation.

The musical support will be that of Freddie McGregor’s “All in the Same Boat” playing in the background to persuade customers that being on Telecom Provider Digicel’s Network is like all Jamaicans being in the same boat, with an acapella chorus at the end.

Another could have another song from Freddie McGregor “Yes I will wait for You” in which it shows a romantic setting in which a person awaits a call from a girl who has forgotten his number from a chance meeting but knows people on the Telecom Provider Digicel Network who then relay the message on to their friends and eventually find the man she bumped into at random on the bus.

Thus other such situation adverts, with cool earth tones in the background interspersed with red and white and clean, popular songs sung by Dancehall and Reggae Artiste reflecting what is happening in the advert, not necessarily from Freddie McGregor, can also be employed to get across the basic concept of the Hive: We all connected once we are members of Telecom Provider  Telecom Provider Digicel’s Network separated by only Seven Degrees of Separation.

Thus both the promotional and product side of Hive is mathematical in nature.

Telecom Provider Digicel Rising Stars would be the best time to launch the Hive and Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network, with the geo-location bit of Brown Dawg Mobile Social Network as an add-on at a later date.

The only problem with this product is the logo, which could use some more artistic flair, but was chosen as it an abstract representation of not only the Mobile Network Cells but also the connectedness of members of the Hive, who are like bees are abuzz with conversations on the Telecom Provider Digicel Mobile Network.

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