‘Total, built by Hike’, Now users can access some services without data

New Delhi, Jan 17: Indian instant messaging platform Hike messenger on Wednesday launched a new product called ‘Total, built by hike’ which lets users access essential services such as Messaging, News, Recharge and others without a data connection.

The major attraction of the product is, the users can now make payments without using the Internet data, and this feature alone can boost its user base.

The Android fork, called Total, offers a range of services including the ability to text messages using Hike Messenger and follow cricket match updates, Kavin Mittal, the founder and CEO of the company said at a press event in New Delhi.

Mittal, who demonstrated various features of Total operating system, says Total uses Universal Transfer Protocol, a “supercharged” version of text-based USSD protocol to facilitate various of its features. Mittal said Hike owns a patent on universal transfer protocol.

The company has partnered with Intex and Karbonn to launch Total OS-powered smartphones in India. The phones, Kavin said, would be priced under Rs 2,000, and will hit the stores in March.

A user of Total device could also check railway ticket updates and send money to friends. The “micro apps” weigh under 1MB on the device, Mittal said. They can sign into various services in a single go using their mobile phone number, he added.

Hike says users can also send pictures to their friends. This option, however, prompts them to purchase data from carriers. Hike says it has partnered with various operators and is offering data for as low as Re 1.

The first product by Hike was its messaging app Hike Messenger launched in 2012. In August 2016, Hike raised its fourth round of funding of USD 175 million led by Tencent and Foxconn at a valuation of USD 1.4 billion. Other investors in Hike include Tiger Global, Softbank and Bharti.