Airtel Congo and Opera Mini

Airtel Congo Opera Mini

Airtel Congo and Opera Mini

Opera Software and Bharti Airtel’s subsidiary in the Republic of the Congo, Airtel Congo, have been working together since 2012 to bring the best mobile browsing experience to Airtel customers through Opera Mini.

Background 

In March 2014, Airtel Congo launched the “Bonjour Congo” campaign to try to bring more users online from their mobile phones. Access to popular websites was made available at no cost to encourage people to try out the internet on their mobile phones and discover all that it has to offer.

Opera Software and Airtel Congo: Bringing more people online from phones in the Republic of Congo

In recent years, a growing proportion of the Republic of Congo’s population (over 4.6 million) has been getting online more frequently and engaging in social media, particularly the younger generation (58.8% of the population is under 241). However, with an overall internet-penetration rate of only 6.6%, the number of people who remain offline is extremely high.

Many factors contribute to this low internet-penetration rate: Inadequate broadband infrastructure, limited mobile-internet coverage, low smartphone penetration and a general lack of internet awareness to go along with compelling reasons to use it. Due to the lack of proper broadband infrastructure and the country’s high mobile-phone ownership rate, the majority of internet users in the Republic of the Congo access the internet through their mobile phones, when they access it at all.

Since September 2012, Airtel Congo has offered a co-branded version of the Opera Mini browser to its customers. Opera Mini provides Airtel Congo users with a faster, more affordable mobile-browsing experience, due to the browser’s advanced compression technology. Today, Airtel Congo’s Opera Mini users represent over 76% of the total Opera Mini user base in the Republic of the Congo.

In March 2014, Airtel Congo launched the “Bonjour Congo” campaign, in which Opera Mini and its compression technology and mobile traffic zero-rating capabilities played a vital role in helping Airtel Congo to achieve its targets.

Airtel Congo set the following goals for the "Bonjour Congo" campaign:

  • Drive mobile internet awareness among its user base.
  • Attract new mobile-data subscribers.
  • Turn first-time, “free” data users into long-term paying users.

Three-pronged approach

The “Bonjour Congo” campaign consisted of three key parts:

  • Free, zero-rated access for consumers to Gmail, Facebook and Wikipedia websites, when using Opera Mini as the gateway
  • Free mobile web surfing from 5:00-7:00 a.m. every morning, with Airtel 3G.
  • Access to a free, zero-rated Facebook site across all browsers.

Creating a buzz

To boost awareness and interest in the “Bonjour Congo” campaign, Airtel Congo carried out the following marketing and promotional tactics:

  • TV and radio commercials
  • Promotion of the campaign via Opera Mini’s built-in promotional real estate—the Speed Dial, which provided users with a direct link to a campaign page, where users could access Gmail, Face book and Wikipedia for free
  • An SMS-push campaign to existing Airtel Congo data users
  • In-store promotional flyers

Campaign results

By allowing users to browse for free on the popular websites Face- book Gmail and Wikipedia, Airtel Congo was successful in enticing users to try out the internet from their mobile phones—many for the first time ever—using the co-branded version of Opera Mini as a new gateway to the internet. The results speak for themselves, with an increase of 237% in unique monthly Airtel Congo Opera Mini co-branded users and an outstanding 919% increase in overall data consumption during the campaign—with sustainable longer-term gains in user growth and overall data consumption after the campaign. Mission accomplished!

Airtel Congo Opera Mini

Conclusion

Opera Mini is one of the most popular mobile browsers in the world, making it possible for people to access the internet via almost any data-capable phone. By zero-rating popular websites as an integral part of co-branded Opera Mini campaigns, operators who pursue tactics such as those used by Airtel Congo are able to build mobile- internet awareness and real-life use cases that provide people with a reason to go online from their mobile phones. A chief draw for new, non-internet-savvy users is the ability to engage with friends on social media and gain knowledge from sites such as Wikipedia, without incurring any financial commitment.

After the campaign is over, due to increased awareness and a better understanding of what the internet has to offer, operators then have a teriffic opportunity to turn these trial mobile-internet users into paying data users—just as Airtel Congo did.
Interested in hearing more about how Opera Mini can help you to bring more of your consumers onto the mobile internet? Check out www.operasoftware.com/products/operators/opera-mini-operators.

Download the PDF file here.