How to get the Best out of Mobile in Level 4

Published on: 21st May 2020

As South Africa moves deeper into Level 4 of its Covid-19 lockdown, it’s clear that not much has changed since the start of the stay-at-home order on March 26. For most of us, our homes remain our centre while we exercise in the mornings, shop for essentials and refrain from social visiting.

“Mobile technology is helping millions of smartphone and feature phone users handle confinement that much better. A Covid-19 world without the mobile content, apps and value-added services developed by Wireless Application Service Providers (WASPs) would be unmanageable,” says Ilonka Badenhorst, General Manager of SA’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA).

Mobile technology is underpinning the fight against Covid-19 the world over. In South Africa, government-mandated twice-daily text messages are delivering vital health information to communities plagued by fake news, misinformation and subterfuge. Along with proactive testing, track-and-trace activities enabled by mobile are proving to be invaluable in beating the pandemic.

Mobile is also stepping up to the plate in less obvious ways. Over-the-top apps enable easy communication within households self-isolating, mobile value-added services make staying at home bearable, mobile video calling helps us resist the temptation to visit socially, mobile enables households to manage home deliveries and mobile devices are personal and eliminate the dangers of shared devices.

When it comes to getting the best out of the current Level 4 lockdown, mobile can help us take better advantage of those small concessions we have been granted.

Exercising once a day in the mornings can really count when it’s done with smart fitness apps that measure heartrate and even help one connect with other exercise buffs using the same apps. Exploring what video calling apps work best on your particular handset can help you stay on the right side of the social visiting prohibition. When it comes to feature phone users, teleconferencing can link them to loved ones. Finally, all mobile users should get to grips with USSD which works on all handsets and is especially useful in times of network congestion as it uses absolutely minimal amounts of data.

“With tens of millions stuck at home, it’s clear that mobile content and app development will continue to be vital to the success of stay-at-home orders,” Ms Badenhorst concludes.
WASPA is the industry representative body of SA’s wireless application service provider sector and has been working to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry for almost two decades. It has the full support of the country’s biggest mobile network operators who helped found WASPA.

More information is available at: