Update: OnMobile has informed that it has partnered with the Karnataka Government to launch this pilot. The company stated that it is currently providing the technology platform and services to the government to help launch and manage this mobile governance pilot, although it didn’t disclose the deal period or the financial details of this partnership.

Earlier (Jan 10):

The Karnataka Government has launched a pilot project on mobile governance, allowing citizens to access various government services on their mobile phones. The government says that it is looking to launch an integrated mobile-enabled service delivery system through this initiative.

How to access? The service is currently available on the Internet and voice platforms. Citizens can access these services by dialing 8088887766 or visiting mobile.karnataka.gov.in. The government also noted that the service is available over USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) to MTNL and BSNL subscribers, who can access this service by dialing *505*807#.

Offerings: The government stated that through this initiative, it will be offering various information services as well as services involving actual transactions. These include information services like Sakala services; utility services like electricity, water, and BSNL landline and mobile bill payments; traffic services like bus routes and timing information, and traffic alerts service and pending traffic fine payments.

When we checked the website, we noticed that the site prompts citizens to enter their mobile number, following which it offers all the services mentioned above. We also noticed that that the portal currently focuses on the Bangalore region, offering utility bill payments for Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) and CellOne with plans to launch Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) payments shortly. For CellOne bill payment, the portal currently offers multiple payment modes including Credit Card, IMPS and m-Rupee.

That being said, it does offer bus routes and timings for Mysore city in the current pilot and plans to offer utility bill payments for Hubli Electricity Supply Company Limited (HESCOM) shortly, as indicated on the website.

Not Mobile-Optimized:We also noticed that the portal is partially mobile optimized. While the portal menu is mobile-optimized, when one clicks on any service, it redirects users to a desktop-optimized interface at the time of writing this article. (We tried it on Galaxy Nexus running on Android 4.2)

Similar Developments: Last month, Mobile VAS company Spice Digital* had partnered the Bangladesh government to commercially roll out Access to Information services in Bangladesh. Through this initiative, the company was offering information services like Passport Enquiry, Birth certificate and tax information from National Board of Revenue (NBR) with 30 more services in the pipeline, which includes 17 services based on API access from respective Government departments. The company had deployed this service on Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and SMS platform on the state owned telco Teletalk Bangladesh and private operator Robi (an Axiata company)

In December 2009, Spice Digital had secured an m-Governance deal in Himachal Pradesh. The company had initially rolled out six services and had later expanded it to 12 services. These services involved actual transactions, as well as information and alerts from departments. Among the services launched included an SMS-based information service pertaining to Vehicle Registration, Driving License, Senior Citizens Identity card, and Health Management. In addition to this, Spice Digital had also tied up with Zoom Developers to offer e-governance services in Common Service Centres (CSC) in Himachal Pradesh. Zoom had setup over 600 CSCs in six districts of Kangra division of Himachal Pradesh.

In November 2009, Kerala-based Mobile VAS company MobMe Wireless Solutions had also secured an m-Governance contract from Kerala state government. This contract covered 21 pilot projects over 8 months across state government departments using a single number, 537252.

Through this project, MobMe had offered various services like University exam results & related information, Vehicle details over SMS, News alerts to journalists, Insurance details, Blood donation requests sent out taking location inputs into account, Movie ticketing on mobile for Kerala State Film Development Corporation, Audio guides for tourists at hotspots, Bus route timings and Inventory tracking for Public Distribution System among others.

Related:

DIT Notifies 51969 As Short-Code For m-Governance Services On SMS & IVR
Indian Government Targets December For M-Governance Rollout; Floats Consultation Paper
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi On e-Governance Expectations, Delivery & Challenges

*Disclosure: Spice Digital is an Advertiser with Medianama