Friday, September 5, 2014

Airtel Nigeria Launches Social Media Data Bundles

Airtel Nigeria, the country’s second-largest mobile operator, is offering WTF bundles (comprised of WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger BBM) to prepaid subscribers. The offerings, which provide access to these social media platforms, cost NGN 200.00 (US $1.24) for monthly bundles and NGN 100.00 (US $0.62) for weekly packages. Monthly bundles have an 80 MB data allowance and are valid for 30 days, whereas weekly bundles offer 30 MB of data and are valid for 14 days.

Nigeria’s mobile market has a 75 percent penetration rate with 125 million subscribers, of which more than 10 million are smartphone users. Although the country’s mobile market has experienced triple-digit growth over the last five years, operators there can still find ways to increase their presence. While a statement by Airtel said the WTF bundle was introduced to satisfy the needs of customers “who spend most of their time on social networks and love to stay connected with their friends and family on the go and every moment,” the offer is also a good way for the operator to increase ARPU by encouraging data use by subscribers who may otherwise not be interested in large data packages, particularly because the variety of messaging options that come with the bundle will appeal to the various preferences of Airtel’s subscribers.
The WTF data bundle can also be seen as an effort by the MNO to gain new subscribers, including BlackBerry users—who make up 30 percent of the country’s smartphone market—by putting BBM in the package, as well as by pricing the packages at affordable rates for budget-conscious consumers. Airtel may also be trying to increase Facebook use. We have written recently about Nigerians’ preference for messaging apps over Facebook. By combining the Facebook app with other messaging apps, Airtel is providing its customers with more options with which to consume mobile data, all of which may up-sell subscribers to larger data plans.

 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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