Monday, June 16, 2014

Nawras Offers Free Data for World Cup

Omani MNO Nawras has introduced the Sahra Time World Cup Edition offer, which will be in effect until the end of the World Cup (13 July 2014). Under the offer, users who make OMR 0.30 (US $0.78) worth of national calls per day will receive 1 GB of free mobile data once a day for use between the hours of 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. Users can also browse the popular sports website free of charge all day long. A monthly fee of OMR 0.50 (US $1.29) applies to this offer, which is available to customers of the Mousbak prepaid service and Shababiah service (targeted at the under-25 age group).

During the 2010 World Cup, one study found an increase of 24 percent in worldwide data traffic, with an increase of 22 percent in streaming and an increase of 32 percent in YouTube usage on the mornings after matches. With increased global adoption of smartphones and tablets and the growing availability of 4G speeds, the 2014 World Cup is expected to bring about an even greater increase in traffic. Nawras’ generous free data offer is attempting to capitalize on the popularity of soccer in Oman and on the rising trend of data use among its population. In 2013, Oman was the fastest-growing smartphone market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, with 65 percent of users reported to have switched to smartphones. Active mobile broadband subscriptions were measured at 64.02 percent of the population as of April 2014. With 1 GB of data, users should be able to watch one video in standard definition for at least an hour.

However, the period of time (12 a.m. to 12 p.m.) in which the free data is available for use largely fails to coincide with the live broadcast timings for the tournament (8 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.). The availability of the additional data allowance may encourage users to utilize their plan allowances for watching the live broadcast. Also, it may enable users to watch match highlights and more importantly, it may accustom users to the advantages of a larger data allowance. This could serve to promote higher uptake of Nawras data plans in the future. Users of the Mousbak and Shababiah services can purchase 4G data plans ranging from 1 GB to 10 GB (the 3 GB to 10 GB plans are newly introduced). On the whole, we think offers like this World Cup package are a good way for operators to encourage data use, not just to earn revenues in the present but to form data-use habits with an eye on future revenues.

The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues:

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