Mobilink and Opera Web Pass
Mobilink and Opera Web Pass
With more than 38 million mobile subscribers, Mobilink is Pakistan’s leading telecom provider. In 2011, Mobilink joined forces with Opera Software to help bring the best mobile browsing experience to its customers through Opera Mini.
In February 2014, Mobilink launched the Mobilink Web Pass to encourage more users to browse the web from their mobile phones, and provided these users with new, easy-to-understand and affordable mobile internet packages.
Opera Software and Mobilink: Opening up the mobile internet in Pakistan
In December 2011 Mobilink teamed up with Opera Software and launched a co-branded version of Opera Mini. By the end of 2012, Mobilink’s co-branded Opera Mini users had quadrupled.
With a population of over 1) 190 million in which 2) 70% of people are under the age of 30, the number of people accessing the internet, whether from a PC or mobile, is extremely low. Pakistan’s internet penetration rate of 1)10% is one of the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as worldwide.
There are numerous factors contributing to this relatively low internet uptake: Limited broadband infrastructure; slow 2G mobile networks, which discourage active mobile web usage; low smartphone penetration (a mere 3) 10%); and compounding all of this, a lack of proper education about the internet and its possibilities – particularly in rural areas where 1) 64% of the population lives.
By offering a co-branded version of Opera Mini, with its longtime success compressing data and making the internet affordable to all, Mobilink successfully overcame many of these barriers.
Opera Mini and Mobilink were able to compress web pages down to as little as 10% of their original size, giving users—most of whom were on lower-end feature phones—a faster and eye-opening mobile browsing experience at an affordable price. The news spread fast, and by the end of 2013, Mobilink’s Opera Mini co-branded users represented 26.4% of the total mobile internet user base.
In March 2014, Mobilink launched Mobilink Web Pass. This product was made possible by Opera Software’s Opera Web Pass, which simplifies mobile data offerings into understandable and affordable mobile internet packages by using the existing capabilities of the Opera Mini platform, such as data compression and the zero-rating of mobile traffic.
Mobilink set the following goals for Mobilink Web Pass:
- Drive mobile internet awareness among its user base.
- Attract new mobile data subscribers.
- Make it exceptionally easy to sign up for data services.
- Make the mobile internet affordable to its users.
- Turn first-time, “free” data users into long-term paying users
Creating a buzz, awareness and attention
To boost awareness and interest around the Mobilink Web Pass, Mobilink carried out the following promotional tactics:
- Free 10 minute internet pass
- Access to free, “zero-rated” sites—including Facebook and Twitter—for 24 hours
- An interstitial message on free sites that encouraged all Facebook Zero and Twitter users to try the Mobilink Web Pass
- An SMS-push campaign to existing Mobilink data users
- Promotion of Mobilink Web Pass via Opera Mini’s built-in promo- tional spots including Speed Dial, the dual-feature box and a Smart Page text link
- An animated, fun YouTube video that highlighting the ease in purchasing a pass
Results to date
By incentivizing usage through “10 minutes of free internet” and “Free sites for 24 hours” passes, Mobilink dramatically increased awareness and interest in the Mobilink Web Pass by allowing users to try out the mobile internet for free, as well as providing them with first-hand examples in how easy and affordable it can be to venture online with their mobile phones. The combined tactics resulted in an increase in unique monthly Mobilink Web Pass users by 98%, a 585% increase in the number of paid web passes sold and a 115% increase in month-over-month web pass revenues.
Providing access to Facebook and other popular sites for free to users via zero-rating as part of an operator-branded Opera Web Pass launch is a key tactic in an operator’s web pass strategy. This tactic rapidly builds awareness and interest among users to try out the internet and engage in social media with friends online without any financial commitment. After the trial period is over, most users’ curiosity has been heightened, naturally leading them to explore the rest of the mobile internet. This opens up doors for the operator to upgrade these users to affordable, time- or content-limited paid web passes, which in turn leads to more data subscriptions and increased data revenues.
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