Monday, December 11, 2006

Penetration rates of 250%? Why not?

In my last post, I suggested that multi-mobile subscription bundles, or 'second subscription' as it's becoming known as, could be a lucrative strategy for mobile operators. They lock in the customer and encourage usage through attractive pricing and by getting another phone in their hands.

Until now, I haven't heard of any mobile operators actively addressing this opportunity. But at a recent conference in London, Sunrise (TDC Switzerland) claimed that they are going to actively target the multi-subsription market. As far as I know Sunrise are the first to have a formal strategy for this - anyone out there know of any others?

Sunrise also offers residential broadband, so they can easily create a multi-SIM + broadband package which as I mentioned before would lock in customers pretty tightly. I would love to see the take-up and new churn rates so I hope they can pull it off.

Now, regarding handsets. Multi-SIM handsets don't exist, but if multi-subscription takes off, then there will be a market for them. But not everyone will want a single device - some people, myself included, like to have separate phones. People already have 1-2 mobiles, iPod, digital camera, laptop, Blackberry, etc.... As Dean Bubley recently blogged, "I see people having a selection of devices they could use at any time, and selecting the most appropriate depending on whether they are going out for work/play, have access to power sockets, how many pockets they have in that day's clothes, what applications they think they'll need etc."

Functionality and style have to be relevant to where/when I will have my device and they must be balanced by practical aspects as form factor. I think multi-subscription bundles could create a whole new market for products that are 'context specific.'

The iPhone could be the first.....

1 comment:

Robert Adams said...

Can you think of a 'contextual' service offering in another industry?

I supposed social networking sites are that - e.g. LinkedIn vs. Myspace. Telecom operators have struggled to seperate the offering from the technology being used. They keep using the technology as identifiers for the service - often free and clear of the actual service (VoIP & IP VPN for example).

I think there could be good money in bringing service oriented services to market. IMS won't solve this problem - it will help, but without a change in the operators' dialogue it will just be one more networked application environment.