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Everything but voice: Disruptive innovation in Mauritius

Mauritius has population density of 632, the 18th highest among territories, just behind Taiwan.  It has the highest population density in Africa (Rwanda is next with a population density of 407).  It has a GNI per capita just below that of Malaysia.  It is the third most prosperous country in Africa, behind Equatorial Guinea and Seychelles.

It is also the site of an exciting new development, where a new entrant is offering everything but voice over fiber.  The prices are low, by Mauritius income levels.  It has a good chance of success:

As Sharma told us:”I personally want us to disrupt the whole market. The competition will respond and it will therefore be beneficial to the country. The cheaper it is, the more uptake there will be and therefore there will be more subscribers, which in turn will sustain lower bandwidth prices. So far no-one has really tried this. We will breakeven on the low-cost packages and in some instances make money.” Overall average revenues will be US$20 per user. He wants to break the idea of long-term contracts:”We’re trying to free subscribers from long-term contracts. Typically users currently have to subscribe for one year. We want to offer them the choice of not needing to do so. We will offer scratch cards for a monthly subscription.”

It has set itself a target of 50,000 subscribers. The subscribers will be a mixture of corporate and household subscribers:”We want to be able to deliver e-commerce and education through partners and there’s lots of interest from people who want to do IPTV channels.

It will not offer voice:”We don’t have telephony licences and we deliberately kept out of voice. We didn’t want to get into a fight with the two local big boys. The set-top box has a telephone port and some of the subscribers might want to call within the network, no problem. That’s up to the subscribers.”

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