Loop Mobile and Birds Eye Systems have launched SMS based Traffic alerts for Loop Mobile subscribers in Mumbai, as reported by Telecomtalk.

How it works: Loop mobile users can subscribe to the service by sending a text message SUB TRAFF to 53535 or by dialing the USSD code *888*8#.  The service is available to Loop Mobile users at Re 1/day for prepaid customers and Rs 30/month for postpaid customers. Once subscribed to the service, users can set the route preference by sending a text message TRAFF <Areaname> to <Areaname> to 53535 to receive daily alerts along that route. Apart from that, the service also provides on demand traffic alerts. For the same, users to send a text message GET <Areaname> to <Areaname> to 53535.

Loop Mobile’s location based service (LBS) is powered by Birds Eye Systems, which relies on probe vehicles that it signs up with, and collects GPS based data from taxis, cars, buses and call center vehicles. The company also claims that subscribers will get travel time estimates and alternate route suggestions as SMS alerts in the near future.

It should be noted that the service has been listed on Birds Eye Systems’ website for a long time now. A similar service is also available for Tata Docomo subscribers, however, it’s not SMS based. Docomo users have to visit http://www.asklaila.com/flick/docomo/traffline from their mobile browser and subscribe to their preferred route.

Similar Services

In August 2012,  Tata Docomo launched a traffic SMS alert service for its prepaid and postpaid subscribers in Bengaluru. However, it’s not clear as to who’s powering the traffic alerts for Tata Docomo, and how they’re collecting the data. Previously, Tata Docomo had launched an SMS and mobile internet driven location based service called Route Finder in its 3G circles and Mumbai, last year. This service offered route directions in the form of SMS on non-mobile internet enabled devices and a link with text based directions and route plotted on a map on mobile internet enabled devices.

Aircel and MapMyIndia had also tied up to launch PocketFinder in April 2011. PocketFinder is a location based service which allowed 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 on USSD, WAP and SMS platforms.

Other Location Services

In May 2012, Microsoft had extended its collaboration with Nokia to integrate Nokia Maps-powered traffic information into Bing Maps so as to offer live traffic information to its users. The service is available in 24 countries including India, UK, US, Canada, France and Germany among others.

In Jan 2012, Nokia owned maps and location service company NAVTEQ had launched its real-time traffic information service, NAVTEQ Traffic Pro in the Indian cities of Delhi and Mumbai, through which the company delivers real-time traffic information including detailed information like traffic speeds on motorways and main and secondary roads, to more than 26 million users in the two cities. Few months later, Nokia had also extended this service to its mobile maps and the Nokia Drive app on its Symbian and Windows Phone smartphones.