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BIGAdda Goes Mobile; WAP Site Blocked By Airtel?

BIGAdda, the social networking site from the Reliance ADA Group has gone mobile with the launch of SMS and WAP services, and a Mobile Application. I just tried to access the WAP site – http://wap.bigadda.com via my Airtel Live connection, and received the following message –

“Gateway received an invalid response from the upstream gateway”

This is yet another indication of the issues that GPRS users face – mobile operator networks in India are not neutral,and access to sites is controlled; this issue was raised by Microsoft last month, during discussion on VAS. Note that the site might work with Airtels other GPRS plan – Mobile Office – but it is access via Airtel Live! that really matters; it’s automatically enabled for GPRS enabled handsets, is pay-per-use, and is likely to have substantially more users than Mobile Office, which costs Rs. 499 per month. Note that I haven’t been able to use Fring since I switched from Mobile Office either.

BIGAdda concurrently offers three mobile based services – SMS, WAP and a Mobile App; I tried the online flash demo, since mobile access wasn’t possible –

Register Via Mobile: This will allow BIGAdda to add mobile-only users, and should be the norm for mobile services. Note that BIGAdda is also encouraging users to SMS the BIGAdda WAP link to other users to get them on board as well. So if you get SMS invite spam (like the email invite spam we’re already getting), you know whom to blame.
SMS Alerts: Well, they’re supposedly free, but read the fine print, and BIGAdda is controlling costs by allowing only 2 Alerts per day. They’re using the short code 55454
Phone Backup: Well, isn’t Phone Backup what OnMobile bought VoxMobili for? If I remember correctly, OnMobile’s phonebackup service is priced at Rs. 40 per month…BIGAdda is also offering a phone backup service, but they don’t appear to be pushing this service much. It will given them access to substantial user data and connections.
Mobile Text, Photo & Audio Scribbles: BIG Adda is allowing users to scribble (scrap/public message) audio, text and photos via the mobile.

It was evident that would go mobile once they launched a MoBlog for their celebrity blogger – Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.

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