Asian operators get creative with mobile VAS

Melissa Chua
15 Sep 2011

The drive to increase ARPU and gain customer loyalty in a highly competitive market has led operators in Asia to liven their mobile VAS portfolios.

The key to successful mobile VAS lies in catering to the uniqueness of the local market, according to speakers at Mobile VAS World Summit 2011.

Indosat’s VAS product head Mirza Ichzan B. Lubis said a largely prepaid market such as Indonesia, where 30% of the population falls below the poverty level, requires affordable data prices, a user-friendly on-device launcher and support for popular social networking services in order to see large scale uptake.

Lubis said the operator’s Facebook data plan, which sees around 100,000 users per day, had helped increase ARPU. Citing how Facebook occupies 60% of Indosat’s network capacity, Lubis added that enabling customers to update their Facebook statuses via SMS is an efficient way to generate SMS revenue, especially since operators have been observing declining SMS volumes due to competition from instant messaging platforms.

General manager for Thailand’s True Digital Content and Media Company, Kirana Cheewachuen, believes convergence with a keen eye toward the needs of the local population is key to driving mobile VAS usage. The firm has been aided in the convergence goal by its cable television portfolio, which brought opportunities for promoting lifestyle-themed content on the mobile.

True Digital Content and Media Company leveraged Thailand’s love for locally produced TV and enabled users to access more than 500 television channels while on the go. The aggregation of TV, music and movies could engage customers, said Cheewachuen.

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