"In a hyper-connected world it is essential that technology allows us to communicate at all times and in any circumstances, and even more in emergency situations when communication is vital" said Chema Alonso, Telefónica’s Chief Data Officer, during Pigram’s launch. This new service, developed by LUCA, allows Telefónica’s users to post on social networks or send emails by SMS when there is no data coverage by 3G/4G networks. Pigram will initially be available through four networks: Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.
Pigram is another example of Telefónica’s effort to offer to its customers innovative products and services so that they can make the most out of their digital lives.
Telefónica believes that Internet access is a catalyst for economic and social welfare. The revolutionary potential of the Internet improves national economies, allows access to information and knowledge and offers significant potential to solve problems such as those related to health, hygiene, traffic, pollution and disaster prevention amongst others.
Nevertheless, according to ITU (International Telecommunications Union), half of the global population is still not connected and therefore cannot enjoy all the benefits that this transformational platform brings. Telefónica is committed to connect the unconnected. It has made a huge investment in infrastructures over the last five years, 45 billion €, and has also done innovative initiatives to connect people in rural areas with top partners such as Facebook or Project Loon. The Company also launches innovative services like Pigram, which allows its customers to use their social media or email without Internet access, as long as they have a communications network.
Pigram is very valuable for organisations working in humanitarian emergencies caused by natural disasters like many charities, where the use of SMS is key. In these situations, communications are usually the most drastically affected infrastructures, particularly mobile data coverage.
Pigram is really easy and safe to use. Firstly, the user must authorise their Pigram account through a web service to be able to post on these networks. To do this, they must enter a mobile number and will then receive a security code to verify their identity through Mobile Connect. Next, they must link their number to the Pigram App, which may be downloaded from the website or from the Google Play Store. Once linked, Pigram is now ready to use. The user just has to select the network where they want to post via SMS, write the text and send it in encrypted form, thus guaranteeing confidentiality. In a matter of seconds, the SMS contents will be posted or sent via the selected network.
Pigram, is available from today in beta mode for Movistar customers with Android devices in Spain and will be deployed in a second phase in Latin America. As regards the cost, that will depend on the number of SMSs required to send the message to the chosen network (a number that Pigram will indicate before sending), and the user’s mobile tariff. So, for example, for a user whose tariff includes the sending of unlimited SMSs, Pigram will be free.