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Building A Prepaid Mobile Plan

Posted on the 24 November 2011 by Prepaidplans @prepaidplans

One of the more enjoyable aspects of building and managing has been the engagement with the Telco and their advertising agencies as well as the feedback and insights you receive from the everyday customer.

This week I was contact by an international Telco who is in negotiations to launch a prepaid mobile service in Australia. They asked me about which products where working well and which ones weren’t. My feedback was based on the traffic my site receives and the sales that I can track that go through it. It is also my own perspective.

They also asked about what customers where looking for here in Australia and potentially what gaps existed. It got me thinking about what I would build if I was tasked with launching a new prepaid mobile plan.

I in fact have a product development background so it is a bit of a fun exercise, however I have never worked for a Telco nor know the challenges and pricing pressure points they need to manage when launching a new service.

There are some good examples of how things should be done though. Take Amaysim as an example, they offer one prepaid mobile plan, one monthly mobile plan and one prepaid mobile broadband plan (sim card only). Very simple. They don’t have a mobile plan for everyone. They have identified a market(s) and built around them.

The second thing they have done is invested in building brand. They have spent a lot on marketing the service and from what I can see it has really worked. As an example, I had a customer on chat support a few months ago who was seeking information on a few plans. I gave them a few options including Amaysim. The alternate plan offered better value but the customer kept going back to Amaysim. They key reason was brand awareness. They didn’t mention knowing anyone who used the service, but they had obviously seen the marketing.

Consider RedBull Mobile. No history in Australia within the mobile industry but traffic from to them has been very strong. The association with the brand RedBull has provided them with instant credibility, regardless of the fact that not many people actually know who is behind the service.

So far we have keep the plans simple and save up your money because if you want to get noticed you need to invest in marketing.

Which market to chase? This is the hardest question, which honestly I don’t have an answer for. Certainly cheap call rates are great. The concept of unlimited calls offered by Red Bull Mobile is encouraging as it is challenging traditional pricing models, there are no call costs, you pay an amount and use your phone as often as you need to.

Data was a feature that for years I thought was really lacking in the prepaid mobile market. Today it isn’t the case so much and data rates have generally been much better. $2/MB is still too much however and this is an area that needs to be challenged outside of the Vodafone network. MVNOs using Vodafone have come with great data Pay As You Go rates but Vodafone is still fighting network or atleast credibility issues. Hopefully the new network will address this.

Whilst not everyone has nor wants a smart phone, chances are that they may buy one or inherit one and therefore over time data will be a demand for them. Options such as unlimited social media Facebook and Twitter are great because that is probably what most people use the net for on their mobiel today.

I don’t have the perfect prepaid mobile plan at the moment but I will add a part two to this post which will get us closer. I will also run a new poll to get your feedback. You can also add it below.

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