Mobile multiple play

Posted on December 9, 2006  /  0 Comments

Just returned from the sensory overload of the ITU Telecom World exhibition and forum in Hong Kong. One of the buzzwords/phrases floating around this year is multiple play. Triple play is passe though a few are hanging on with quadruple play.

Given my recent column in LBO, my mind was on payments. Where in the multiple play talk was payments? This was the question I raised at the session.

Now, as I wade through the piled up e-mail, I find this fascinating link sent by our good friend Randy Spence which is dead on the point. Does this not suggest that payment is the truly hot topic?

Sunday Independent: Cellphone companies push the power of mobile business services to hook consumers

Hylton Kallner, the general manager of marketing for Discovery, said the company was about to launch a pre-paid funeral plan, which costs R40 a month and could be purchased as a consumer buys cellphone airtime.”Cellphone penetration in South Africa is among the highest in the world, and is especially strong in the LSM 1-5 brackets at which this product is aimed. We decided to piggyback on the knowledge and habits of a very technologically sussed market to deliver a product that offers convenient access and value for money,” he said.

Kallner said Discovery expects demand for buying cover via cellphone on a pay-as-you-go basis to be high because it is more accessible, quicker and more convenient to organise than buying cover through traditional channels.

“Our research shows that people like the control the pre-pay model offers. It gives those in remote rural areas equal access, so geography isn’t a constraint on sound financial planning.”

Shameel Joosub, the managing director of Vodacom, said the company’s service opens up the world of funeral cover to all South Africans via Vodacom’s cellular retail channels and cellular recharge infrastructure.

“People are already very familiar with purchasing pre-paid airtime for their cellphones and we expect them to find it just as easy and convenient to use the same process to buy funeral cover now.”

No reason to limit ourselves to this most important of life events: India has another proposal.

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