I may be wrong, not having conducted a systematic study of mobile advertising in Sri Lanka, but the impression I have is that while there is plenty of it, it’s all about calling to maintain relationships if not about price/quality aspects. In the short term this works, because this is where people’s heads are. But unless there is more money in people’s pockets, it’s unlikely that the mobile operators will be able to continue to make money in the long run.
Voice is getting commodified and profits are declining. People are not taking up more-than-voice services because they do not have money and see mobile as a consumption good. If, on the other hand, it is seen as a production good, something that puts money in the pocket, is it not realistic to think that it will be better for the operators?
LBO has carried an interesting piece based on the exchanges at the LIRNEasia presentation to industry on March 4th. Perhaps the readers have more to say?
Sri Lankans low income customers of mobile communications, used phones least for business related activities in the region, potentially opening up a new marketing opportunity for celcos, a new study has found.
The so-called bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) mobile customers in Bangladesh used phones most for business, financial or work related activities a new study by the policy think tank, LirneAsia has found.
“Sri Lanka is at the lowest end where only 21 percent people said they used the phone daily for business related transactions” said Harsha de Silva, lead economist of LIRNEasia said.
“Whereas in case of Bangladesh where we heard so about phones and using phones as ways of getting out of poverty. And micro finance entrepreneur use was very high, whereas in Sri Lanka it was very low.”