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Importance of USSD in new world! NPCI’s NUUP, Hike Total.

The morning we spend without internet does often stand out to be our worst ones. May be some network issue, device failure or such yet we can’t excuse the fact. Our newspapers have been exchanged with their apps thus saving paper but requiring that internet. Just imagine your old school life without internet. Always visiting friends’ house for notes and meet ups. WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram didn’t there to interfere in between. Mobile’s monthly recharge could be done only by visiting the retailers. We were physically pretty active those days, right?


With the rising demand came the introduction of USSD(Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) to check mobile balance replacing the earlier system of SMS strait away. It is quick and easy to use. Just we need few codes to remember for a specific service. No one may have predicted how far could that innovate our lives in future. The frameless popups were funny and worked even in in network scarcity areas pretty smoothly. Today’s MyAirtel, MyIdea like telecom based app features were/are available to access throw USSD equivalently.

Heavy usage of smartphones brought a drastic change in the use of USSD. Number of smartphone users grew rapidly forcing USSD to fail often in congested areas. Telecom operators started transferring the traffic to app based services for better reliability and security. Gradually the use of USSD decreased nationwide. You might need to search for the USSD code to get the service as we are very used to app based environment. In spite of so, the low bandwidth facility can be very useful if implemented and utilised properly.

npci ussd

NPCI’s *99# is a very useful service though many are afraid of charges and tend not to use. In this new era, we can also count upon BHIM 2.0 to add some more interesting features. For the time we are still trying to inspect new ways of usage. On 17th Jan, 2018, Hike unveiled Total which works on UTP(Universal Transfer Protocol) through USSD and requires no internet for basic chatting and few additional services. This UTP is basically the encrypted messages passing through operators’ low bandwidth USSD. Thus, only few partnered telcos will provide their service initially. They have partnered with Bharti Airtel, BSNL and Aircel to provide the services free of cost to end users. Remember that Total services come integrated in Android as of now. Hike’s loyal focus of it is on budget smartphones and has partnered with Karbonn and Intex for distribution.

hike total

How much change can Hike Total bring?

Total means everything general that we require day to day. Hike provides basic chatting, horoscope and indian railway query (etc.) for now throw UTP. From their video press, it’s quite obvious that transmission through UTP is nowhere to compete with internet app based services. It’s only for low end smartphones and people who have very distinct unpractical view about internet. Hike’s main motive is to shift all basic users to get a slight taste of communication and let them judge what’s best for them.

hike total messages

Usage in future!

As UTP works on USSD which is a low bandwidth environment, we can’t expect fast transmission of high amount of data. The new tech. upcoming services no doubtedly will be requiring high speed internet to function. What’s the need to have slow carriers in future then? If we look carefully, among us lies few communities deprived of internet services not cause of affordability but for poor sense of customer satisfaction and services. USSD and Total like services can be of best use in that scenarios. 

However, USSD is not slow everywhere. When it comes to 4G LTE networks, the transmission capability of it is very high compared to 3G, 2G networks. If Reliance Jio, Airtel etc. implements it over LTE, you will be able to experience it. Yet the speeds won’t be very sufficient for obvious reasons. We expect Jio to allow NPCI’s BHIM USSD in future to let you know the speed of the service.

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Interested in blogging specifically in the emerging field of technology and science. I am passionate about my dreams to web development and programming.

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