Better haj mobility with app
MECCA: Tabung Haji (TH) has incorporated new technology into its operations to improve the overall management of haj pilgrims and information flow between units on the ground, as well as provide a faster response time.
TH operations director for Mecca, Datuk Ahmad Sohaimi Abd Rahim, said these technologies were tested in pilot projects last year and would now be fully implemented.
“We have an SMS Blast service, where haj pilgrims who are using Saudi SIM cards and have registered their local numbers with us will get important messages and urgent alerts.”
Another advancement is the Bravo System, a wireless com- munication network using push-to-talk technology (similar to walkie-talkies). It connects TH operations in Mecca, Medina and Jeddah, which enables TH personnel to get real-time and up-to-date information from the ground at various locations.
Using specialised mobile phones, Bravo can be used to broadcast information to all users in the network or for a one-to-one communication. Its latest update allows for normal calls to be made.
“We have an application called Haj Mobility, which will come in handy during the masya’ir (the movement of pilgrims to Arafah, Muzdalifah and Mina).
“TH officers will report information sector by sector, and it will be updated and displayed in the app on their (pilgrims) mobile phones,” Sohaimi said.
He said for example, the departure of each bus transporting Malaysian pilgrims to Mina would be reported in the app, and updated when the buses arrive at their destination.
He said the application had a search function, where TH officers could call up data on any pilgrim or officer and know which maktab they were from, where they were staying and other information.
“With Haj Mobility, all the pilgrims’ data is in our pocket.”
Sohaimi said this data was stored in an integrated information system and was available offline.
He said TH’s operations information centre was crucial as it controlled the flow of information during haj. The headquarters is in Abraj Al-Janadriyah, with information rooms that operate 24/7 in Medina, as well as Kelana Jaya and the seven departure stations in Malaysia.
“We have a Dashboard Haji display that auto-updates daily statistics and data. All data obtained throughout the operation is recorded and analysed for trends and potential areas for future improvement.”
Datuk Ahmad Sohaimi Abd Rahim