Onroot is partnering with Absa and SA Taxi to make free Internet connectivity and mobile content available in a network of select minibus taxis.

The launch of the Moovah! in-taxi Wi-Fi device will give taxi commuters access to digital content in seconds and without depleting their phone’s pay-as you-go or contract data.

The pilot phase, rolled out in Gauteng from mid-April, will enable commuters to take full advantage of their smart phone functionality, at no additional cost. For many, it will represent their only means of accessing the Internet.

The Moovah! app is the brainchild of Megan Harrison, CEO and founder of Onroot. “Unlike other WiFi services, the Moovah! App does not merely offer free Internet connectivity,” she says. “It allows access to mobile content that can be downloaded or streamed at high speeds, without the need for 3G, ADSL or electricity.”

By travelling in a taxi carrying the Moovah! logo, commuters will be able to connect to the Moovah! WiFi platform to download music, games, videos, and articles on to their smartphones. They will also be able to browse the Internet by using a daily data quota they earn simply by connecting to the Moovah! WiFi system.

When running short of data, commuters will earn additional points by participating in surveys, providing personal details, and watching adverts on their daily commute. Additional points can also be converted into data or used to purchase premium content. “Every 100 points that a commuter will earn, equals 10Mb of data, which equals R1 of content,” says Harrison.

The Moovah! app offers participating brands an opportunity to directly target very specific consumers. The system is geo-specific and knows where on a given taxi route consumers find themselves. Brands are therefore able to offer deals and specials and collect consumer insights specific to a taxi route.

The app also uses cached content and is therefore not dependent on telephony networks. Brands are allowed to interact with commuters in multimedia format without them needing to use any form of data and without disrupted or slow connectivity.

This technology developed by Winjit Technologies, an award-winning technology solutions provider, is new to South Africa and has not been applied in this particular way anywhere in the world. With the average commuter spending 65 minutes a day in a taxi, brands can now spend significant time directly engaging their target audience.

“Taxi operators offering the Moovah! service will become preferred providers for commuters, increasing their revenue streams. In return, they will also earn revenue as a media outlet for organisations using Moovah! to promote their products,” Harrison says.

Matt Hunter, head of savings and investments at Absa, says that the Moovah! app offers a win-win proposition for all stakeholders. “Absa’s support of the pilot phase is aligned with our ambition to become the ‘go-to’ bank for all South Africans.

Everyone involved benefits by receiving access to something they’ve never had. The foundation of all the advantages is digital connectivity which enables people to move more easily from the informal to the formal economy and puts more money into circulation in the communities where the taxis operate.”

During the pilot phase, Onroot, will partner with SA Taxi, South Africa’s largest independent financer of mini bus taxis, to deploy the device in select minibus taxis around Gauteng.

SA Taxi’s advanced telematics system makes it easy to identify which routes should be used and enables the taxis to be tracked, enabling the effective management of marketing campaigns. In addition, taxis carrying the Moovah!
device are owned by SA Taxi’s premier customers, adding to the desirability of the Moovah! service for commuters, brands, and content providers alike.