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To counter rival Uber, Ola launches lighter version app ‘Ola Lite’ to serve non-metros


To capture the market of tier II, tier III cities, Ola has launched ‘Ola Lite’, a lighter version of its mobile app. This could be a significant move to counter its rival ride-hailing company Uber, which is building technologies to book a ride with low bandwidth connectivity or even without smartphones.

The newly launched ‘Ola Lite’ also ensures to work on the lowest Internet connectivity. The app consumes less than 1 MB (520KB) space and loads within 3 seconds without compromising on the booking experience.

Based on Progressive Web App (PWA) technology, Lite is extremely quick and nimble in functioning with fast reflexes. It makes the booking experience seamless by employing features such as mobile number based signup instead of email.

Ola Lite

The recent move also looks catching as various mobile companies are launching low bandwidth phone.

“Our solutions such as Progressive Web App and Offline Booking tackling similar challenges have already set the tone for our sharper focus on emerging cities and towns,” said Ola Vice President Product Management Rajiv Thondanoor.

Lite now presents a unique opportunity to cater to the transportation needs of millions of more Indians residing in these parts of the country, he added.

Besides ride-hailing, Ola and Uber have also been competing in verticals like bike taxi and food delivery. Only this week, the Bengaluru-based unicorn acquired Foodpanda to make a comeback in food delivery segment. With this Ola now competes with UberEats, a food delivery arm of Uber Inc.

Ola has also announced its partnership with Larsen and Toubro Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited (LTMRHL) for integration of Ola services including Ola Money with TSavaari. To become a more driver-oriented company, it recently announced free insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to its 9 lakh driver partners.

On the other side, San Fransisco-based cab company Uber is also working on technologies that will make estimated time arrival (ETZ) more accurate despite constant changes to the infrastructure and traffic bottlenecks along making the pricing more stable.

The development was first reported by ET.

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