Chenai Chair, Alison Gillwald and Steve Esselaar
Policy Brief 3, 2015
The new Bundled Value for Money Index created by Research ICT Africa (RIA) measures the value to customers of blended bundles; data+sms, data+voice or data+voice+sms bundles.
As the African prepaid data market evolves, Over the Top (OTT) services are the new battleground: new entrants and some dominant operators are creating innovative new pricing strategies to increase market share or retain customers and defend their revenues from OTT players. Bundles exist in various forms: voice and data; SMS and data or voice; sms, data and voice. These bundles are generally offered with a limit or uncapped subject to a fair use policy. This convergence of voice and data offerings into diverse bundles has prompted the development of an African prepaid market Bundled Value for Money Index (BVMI) to assess the value of new bundled products in this dynamic market.
1. Operators are capturing growing mobile subscriber markets with pricing strategies moving beyond voice and SMS services to data.
2. Blended bundles emerge as late entrants’ strategy to gain market share with smaller operators in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania scoring high on the index.
3. Dominant operators such as MTC (Namibia) offer blended bundles as a defense strategy against Over The Top players.