Architecture for an SMS based utility-services mobile billing system in Uganda
The world of telecommunications, especially mobile communications, continues to evolve with innovative technologies and high-speed data services. In many economies, mobile phones have overtaken fixed lines. In this project, we took advantage of the existing telecommunications infrastructure to study possibilities to accomplish utility payments from personal mobile phones by the Ugandan public, as compared to the existing methodologies. The basis of the whole idea being visible dissatisfaction expressed by clients in a tedious process to pay utility bills, the existence of related models that help effect money transfers by phone and generally, the Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) infrastructure and it’s data services available today. This provided a firm ground to be able to re-engineer the payment system in utility services. Paying a utility bill in Uganda is still a time consuming venture, taking more time that the majority of clients would actually refer to time spent as ”alot”. In this research project, ideas from different frameworks of related models, all with principles of wireless transactions, were compared and edited, coming up with one that can solve the problem of paying utility bills with an SMS. The new model ensures secure data communication between operators, utility companies and the customers. It was also designed following the economic, service and mobility requirements by the clients and utility companies respectively. As may be in most developed nations, related literature to electronic commerce and it’s applicability, face to face interviews and questionnaires, were all of substantial importance in the successful completion of the project.