Update: Tata Docomo has clarified that no data charges will apply, and the Rs 5 pricing is inclusive of data charges.
Earlier: Tata Docomo, the GSM division of Tata Teleservices Limited has launched Route Finder, a SMS driven location based service, reports PluggdIn. The company states on its website, that the service is available in its 3G circles and Mumbai; we don’t know why it shouldn’t have been rolled out in other circles, since it should work fine with just SMS and GPRS. Tata Teleservices had paid Rs 5864.29 crores for 3G spectrum in 9 circles.
To access this service, the user is required to send a SMS to short code 533331 with the required destination address. Subscribers with Non WAP enabled devices will receive directions in the form of SMS whereas WAP enabled devices will receive a WAP link, which will be having the text based directions and route plotted on a map. Please note that on Non WAP mobiles, if a result requires more than 7 sms then the user will get a failure response.
The charges for accessing this service is Rs 5 per request with no money being charged for invalid response. We do not know that whether the pricing includes data charges; there are two conflicting messages on Tata Docomo’s website, one which says that data charges apply, another which says they don’t (Update: Data charges don’t apply, Tata Docomo has informed us):
Please note that we haven’t been able to test the service because the Tata Docomo is not operational in Delhi. Also, there’s no indication of who’s powering the service.
Earlier this year, Aircel and MapMyIndia had tied up to launch PocketFinder, a location based service. It allows users to access points of interests like cafes, restaurants and others. The service is priced at Rs 10 per month excluding data charges and is available as an application on USSD, WAP and SMS. It requires 3G and/or GPRS to work. Another location based service RouteGuru, used to provide text based directions using landmarks, but it appears to have shut down. The website doesn’t open.