Mobilink, Telenor, Microsoft and Sponsored Web Pass

Mobilink, Telenor, Microsoft and Sponsored Web Pass

Mobilink, Telenor and Microsoft

In March 2015, Mobilink and Telenor offered their users in Pakistan free mobile data via the Opera Web Pass solution. The “free Internet for 12 hours” web passes were sponsored by Microsoft Lumia. 

Opera Software, Mobilink, Telenor and Microsoft

Getting more people online in Pakistan

Since January 2014, Pakistan has experienced a 47% increase in the number of people coming online, primarily on their mobile phones. But with an internet penetration rate of 15%, Pakistan still has one of the lowest number of connected people in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as globally. Two of the biggest barriers to getting people online in Pakistan are: lack of education about the benefits and uses of the internet, especially in rural areas where 64% of the population live, and the perceived high cost of data, making people hesitant about getting online from their mobile phones.

Mobilink and Telenor are two of the biggest mobile operators in Pakistan and share more than 55 million customers.

Both operators have been offering a co-branded version of Opera Mini to their customers since 2011 and easy-to-understand mobile data packages, powered by Opera Web Pass, since 2014.

In March 2015, Opera Web Pass made it possible for Mobilink and Telenor Pakistan to offer their users free mobile data, via the “Free Internet” Speed Dial entry. Microsoft Lumia sponsored 200,000 “10MB of free internet access” web passes. The offer was available exclusively to basic Java phone Mobilink and Telenor customers in Pakistan, enabling these users to get an entire 10MB of internet access, or 12 hours of surfing online, at no charge. The possibility to access the internet for free, for a limited time, encouraged users to experience all that the internet has to offer, many for the first time.

To activate the “Free Internet”* web pass, Mobilink and Telenor users had to open the Opera Mini browser on their phones and click the “Free Internet” Speed Dial entry. From there, users could activate the “Sponsored Web with Microsoft Lumia” web pass. Users who did not already have the Opera Mini browser installed on their phones could visit m.opera.com to download the free app.

After the 12 hours expired or the 10MB volume limit was reached, users were given the opportunity to continue browsing the internet by purchasing easy-to-understand, affordable internet packages from Mobilink and Telenor.

Mobilink set the following goals for the Sponsored Web Pass campaign:

  • Create mobile internet awareness among its Java phone user base.
  • Make it easy and affordable for their users to get online from their mobile phones.
  • Encourage repeat usage of mobile data packages. 

Telenor set the following goals for the Sponsored Web Pass campaign:

  • Drive mobile internet awareness among its Java phone user base.
  • Attract new mobile data subscribers.
  • Retain these new mobile data subscribers.

Microsoft set the following goals for the Sponsored Web Pass campaign:

  • Boost their brand awareness in Pakistan.
  • Promote their Lumia mobile phones.
     

Creating a buzz, awareness and attention

To boost awareness and interest around the Microsoft Lumia Sponsored Web Pass, Mobilink, Telenor and Opera carried out the following promotional tactics:

  • Promotion via Opera Mini’s built-in promotional real estate — Speed Dial, banners and onboarding pages — provided users with a direct link to a campaign page, from which users could access the “Free Internet” web pass sponsored by Microsoft Lumia.
  • Throughout the 12 hour period, users were presented with different ad interstitials from Microsoft to promote their Lumia mobile phones.
Mobilink, Telenor, Microsoft and Sponsored Web Pass user flow

Mobilink and Telenor Sponsored Web Pass with Microsoft Lumia.         User flow of the Mobilink and Microsoft Lumia Sponsored Web Pass.

Campaign results

By encouraging usage through “12 hours/10MB of free internet access” web passes, Mobilink and Telenor were able to get their users to try out the mobile internet for free. When the 12 hours expired or the 10MB was used, users were given the opportunity to continue browsing the internet by purchasing easy-to-understand, affordable web passes. The combined tactics resulted in an increase in total unique monthly web pass users of 6% and a 10.4% increase in the number of web passes activated.

By sponsoring “12 hours of free internet*” web passes, Microsoft Lumia was able to gain exposure of its brand in an inconspicuous way, while promoting its Lumia mobile phones.

“We want to simplify browsing for first-time mobile-web users. It is great to see sponsors such as Microsoft Lumia come forward and work together toward this goal,” says Aamer Manzoor, Head of Data, Mobilink. “We are open to working with more partners who would like to leverage the Opera Mini platform and reach out to mobile users in the country.”

“Active mobile users in Pakistan are young and they feel the need to always stay connected with friends. The partnership with Opera Mini and Microsoft Lumia will attract youngsters to use mobile internet and usher in a new wave of mobile-data growth in the country, This is another step towards our efforts to build an ecosystem to further facilitate internet uptake in the country and yet another testament of our ambition to bring Internet For All.” says Omer Bin Tariq, Director Internet & Devices, Telenor Pakistan.

Interested in learning more about how you can team up with local partners to offer your customers sponsored internet access with Opera's Sponsored Web Pass solution? Check out our product page and product sheet.

Download the pdf version of the case study here.