USSD in full is Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and USSD service is a protocol widely used in Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) networks for sending text messages, functioning similarly to SMS (Short Message Service).
The USSD service protocol operates by utilizing codes made up of characters available on mobile phones. When a USSD message is transmitted, with a maximum length of 182 characters, it establishes a real-time communication session between the mobile phone and another device, typically a network or server.
USSD service is applied in various services, including Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) browsing, mobile money services, prepaid callback services, menu-based information services, and location-based content services.
With USSD service, users can directly interact from their mobile phones by navigating through different menus and making selections. Unlike SMS messages, USSD message, USSD sessions establish a real-time connection, allowing for two-way communication as long as the connection remains open. Consequently, queries and responses take place almost instantaneously.
Unlike SMS, which is typically used for sporadic and one-way marketing communication, USSD enables real-time digital conversations. USSD allows for immediate and interactive communication between users, providing a dynamic and engaging experience compared to the one-way nature of SMS.
When a user generates a query, it is sent to your business's USSD application through a gateway. The application then provides a suitable solution in response to the query, which is sent directly back to the user. This process can be repeated until the query is resolved.
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Free for clients and highly cost-effective for your business
Enables faster two-way communication, up to seven times faster than SMS
Does not require data or an internet connection
Highly customizable to align with your business and cater to your clients' needs
Compatible with all mobile devices