Airtel Kenya has announced a partnership with Gecko Landmarks to offer a text-based location service dubbed “mLocator” to all its customers which will enable subscribers to locate friends and family using an SMS short code.
Airtel is the first in the market to launch a locator service that uses landmarks that are locally well-known, such as buildings, parks, bridges and farms to deliver accurate location information.
Airtel Kenya MD Shivan Bhargava said: “This innovative and unique service that enables our customers to locate their friends, family and loved ones through SMS from their Airtel SIM card is yet another demonstration of our commitment to improving the lives of our Customers through convenient and relevant mobile solutions.”
Airtel customers can access the service by sending a text message with the word ‘find’ followed by the Airtel phone number they would wish to locate to 30100. The unique service will be available to the network’s users free from now till September 30, 2013.
Apart from Kenya, the service is currently in use in South Africa and Benin.
User privacy on the service is protected adequately as one has to give consent to activate the location service request from the originator of the message request to locate them. Customers subscribing to mLocator will receive regular updates about the people enabled to locate them.