Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, the CEO of Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile operator, gave an illuminating talk on his company’s BOP strategy on the 27th of September, at the Central Bank lecture series. He claims that his company was the first in the region to move away from a focus ARPU to a profit-per-minutes focus as early as 1997-98. Here is another mobile operator who is doing well with a similar strategy.
Digicel has prospered by introducing modern technology and innovative services into stodgy, uncompetitive markets. Its entry into Jamaica led to drastic reductions in prices and showed the region just how much it stood to gain from liberalisation. Digicel used a similar recipe in Haiti. “We floored prices and gave people a better service,” says Mr O’Brien. Pre-paid billing, based on top-up cards, makes phones more affordable to those outside the business and political elites. Digicel has also introduced novel twists of its own, such as the ability to send free “call me” text messages to other people.
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