Saturday, September 10, 2011

An Idea: Batelco: CSV Downloadable Contacts for Smart Phones

Batelco is the leading integrated communications’ provider in the Kingdom of Bahrain with a very large customer base. It has a huge telephone directory.

When I want a number of a particular organization or restaurant I dial 181 and in a matter of seconds that restaurant's number is SMS'ed to my phone. Batelco made that service even cooler when they launched the Mobile Telephone Directory. All is free and easy to access. 

I have a suggestion that might make this service even easier and much user friendly. Categorize the telephone directory into groups (Restaurants, Banks, IT Companies etc..) and make them available online for download as a CSV (a standard format for all smart phones Comma Separated values). Now If I'm a frequent restaurant visitor, I can download the restaurant CSV to my Blackberry, iPhone, Andriod even Nokia and have access to all Restaurants in Bahrain directly on my contacts.

We have only one problem, telephone directory is dynamic. It is being updated frequently, so you need to download that CSV every now and then and resynch it back to your phone and you do not know if that file is updated or not. To tackle this, Batelco can create a different page to release only the changes (delta) so it is easier to download and sync. This concept is similar to the database replication .