Wortal Inc run events and entertainment portal, BuzzInTown, has tied up with mobile VAS solutions provider Handygo Technologies to provide city specific event and entertainment information through Handygo’s city specific SMS based mobile service, Zing. Through the tie-up, Buzzintown will provide information regarding deals, discounts, movies, events, food, nightlife, travel, and other related information for Delhi (NCR), Mumbai, Goa,Calcutta, Banglore, Chennai, Kerala, Orissa, Punjab, Rajisthan, among 19 other cities to Zing subscribers.

The Zing mobile alerts service, aggregates information through a user generated content model, wherein subscribers can share details of ongoing events and other happenings with Zing, which broadcasts it to other registered users after validating its authenticity.

BuzzInTown itself operates more or less on the same model, with events and entertainment listings being added by users. It also provides SMS alerts for Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore happenings through SMS alerts aggregator MyToday. It plans to introduce specific alerts on the basis of the categories that the user selects amongst Music & Concerts, Family & Food, Theatre and Art and others.

Handygo has content partnerships with Balaji, ESPNCricinfo, Dhanuka Agritech, India Today, Sony-BMG and others. It deploys VAS products on Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Indicom, Tata Docomo, Aircel, Idea, Spice, MTNL and BSNL, among others.

We feel that relying solely on SMS and undermining the importance of the mobile web, reflects a short sighted approach on Handygo’s part. Extending the service to native apps and asking people to recommend and rate places, events or services akin to Google Hotpot, will make the service more interesting. But then mobile VAS is mostly an on-deck phenomenon, and subscription services are an important means of monetization.

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