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noknok! Who’s there? MTN, of course

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It’s not news in South Africa, but an American software developer was cock-a-hoop at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week with the announcement that MTN had selected its Instant Messaging system for deployment in South Africa. Read more about Movius and something called “noknok””…

Movius Interactive Corporation, provider of messaging, collaboration and mobile media solutions, announced this week that MTN South Africa had selected its Mobile Instant Messaging (Mobile IM) solution for deployment throughout its subscriber base.

It gave Movius bragging rights at their stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but the service, branded “”noknok”” by MTN, in fact went live on 27 November 2007.

It gives customers a more interactive, chat and presence-enabled messaging experience than traditional SMS or MMS and at a lower price to the consumer. With the rapid adoption of Mobile IM in South Africa, the new noknok service gives MTN’s mobile users a new way to stay in touch, and competes directly with Vodacom’s new GRID service reported on this site recently ‚ not to mention South Africa’s mobile IM market leader MXit.

Using USSD to get IM …

The company sought to introduce a service as part of a branding strategy that would present a fun, differentiated multimedia service, provide tangible customer benefit, allow users to seamlessly communicate with their contacts, whether or not they have a Mobile IM client installed on their handset, and regardless of the network they are using. And it wanted all of this under its own brand.

“”We looked to Movius, which provides our voicemail and multimedia messaging applications, to deliver this solution,”” said Wouda Du Plessis, Messaging Portfolio Manager, MTN South Africa.

Mobile IM is the first social networking offer from Movius’ recently announced Interactive Mobile Media services.

“”We worked closely with MTN to ensure that the new Mobile IM solution would not only be highly attractive to MTN subscribers, but also would integrate easily with the company’s existing messaging services and business operations,”” said Andy Minnaar, General Manager, Movius Africa.

“”It even integrates seamlessly with the Mobile IM services of competing network operators: a great convenience, allowing seamless communication with the customer’s entire community of contacts.””

What is noknok?

noknok features a small downloadable handset application that is downloaded over the air. In addition, customers can use the PC-based application, allowing subscribers to integrate their communications between computers and handsets. Both the handset and PC applications support a wide array of feature capabilities demanded by users ranging from group chat rooms, forums, presence and mood enabled information, as well as file or picture sharing in addition to integrated SMS and MMS.

Says Du Plessis, “”noknok is Mobile IM geared for maximum appeal. Subscribers can see their friends, how they feel and whether they are available to chat — at a glance. MTN subscribers can now instantly communicate and share their experiences with individuals and groups.””

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