Fueling the Smartphone Penetration through Carrier and OEM Collaboration

Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. Different industries have started collaborating with the mobile phone brands for mutual benefits in the business by becoming more consumer-centric. Health, food, agriculture, safety, insurance and even government sector is taking advantage of smartphones in order to ensure best and speedy services to the public. Fueling the Smartphone Penetration through Carrier and OEM Collaboration.

Fueling the Smartphone penetration through Carrier and OEM Collaboration

For this purpose, one such prevailing trend is the collaboration of cellular networks and “Original Equipment Manufacturer” (OEMs). The fundamental aim of carrier and OEM collaboration is to provide mobile users with better quality of services and internet connectivity while offering affordable smartphones. From a broader perspective other benefits include:

  • Direct and healthy relationship between both industries and with their respective consumers
  • Effective control on grey channel
  • Theft control
  • Establishment of better device insurance policies

The international trend of contract phones started back in 2016 in Pakistan but it didn’t get much success

The basic idea behind this model is a unique business approach to improve service subscribers for network and smartphone penetration simultaneously. In Western countries mobile operators offer contract phones that provide customers with their favorite smartphone along with an affordable network package. These packages include data bundles, call minutes, SMS and social network packages. It has helped the telecom companies to increase their market share especially in 3G/4G business whereas, it also provides a strong platform for OEMs to sell their devices and plays an effective role in controlling grey channel, mobile theft and establishing better device insurance policies.

This international trend of contract phones started back in 2016 in Pakistan but didn’t get much success. Presently, a different kind of carrier and OEM collaboration is prevailing in the industry. Both OEMs and Carriers have joined hands in an effort to increase smartphone penetration while improving 3G/4G services in the country.

The major benefits of carrier and OEMs partnership is to increase the smartphone penetration and mobile subscription

One recent example of this is the Jazz MoU with Samsung for distribution of its latest flagship devices Galaxy S8 and S8+ that offers a discount voucher of PKR 4,000 and an unlimited one month LTE internet. Jazz, Telenor, Ufone and Zong are offering smartphones along with data bundles and packages. New comers like Infinix, Lenovo, and Xiamoi etc. can grab the opportunity by utilizing carrier’s platforms and sell their devices.

As Zong is the first telecom company to introduce 4G in Pakistan and presently it has around 3 million 4G subscribers. Zong aims to re-strengthen its customer base by offering internet bundles with handsets that’s why it has successfully collaborated with more number of OEMs as compared to the rest of operators. Following are some of the smartphones along with data bundle details:

Fueling the Smartphone penetration through Carrier and OEM Collaboration

The list of smartphone brands that Zong is presently offering to the consumer includes Huawei, Samsung, HTC, OPPO, QMobile, Lenovo and Infinix. All these Zong’s partnered handsets are offered with maximum 6 months of free 4G packages. Interestingly, Zong gives more volume of data and with longer validity. For example, Samsung J3 is offered with free 6GB of 4G internet for 6 months.

The low-range smartphones like Xiaomi also has 6GB free internet for duration of 6 months. These free data offers are automatically activated on Zong’s partnered handsets as soon as IMEI number of the handset is registered on Zong’s network. Also majority of these mobile phones are available for customers at open retailer market and e-Commerce platforms like “Daraz.pk” and Zong CSC.

Telenor Pakistan has also successfully collaborated with renowned brands to help Pakistan meet the true standards of digitization. Telenor is offering Samsung, Apple and Lenovo with free internet, calls and SMS bundles. Telenor’s iPhone plans are more customer-friendly as compared to the other operators.

Fueling the Smartphone penetration through Carrier and OEM Collaboration

Telenor has a unique approach as far as its mobile plans are concerned. Firstly, it offers recommended data packages for both prepaid and postpaid customers on all smartphone brands be it Samsung, iPhone or Lenovo.

Secondly, these recommended offers have two categories, “All in One Offer” and “Daily Hybrid Bundle”, so basically the customers get diversity in offers and are open to select any one offer out of them. Both of these recommended offers have free minutes and internet on a specific mentioned price.

As the chart illustrates, with Samsung J7 Prime, Telenor has two recommended offers; in its “All in One Offer”, the customer can avail Rs. 75 balance for all network calls, SMS and 500MB volume of 4G data. Whereas, in “Daily Hybrid Bundle”, Telenor is offering only Rs. 50 Telenor Minutes and 10 MB volume of 4G data. A customer can avail any offer according to his/her usage from these two plans.

Jazz, the leading mobile network in Pakistan with 55 million subscribers, has also entered the device market with its own Jazz X series last year.  Whereas, Jazz has also signed MoUs with OEMs in order to provide the customers with affordable smartphones and data packages. Presently, Jazz is offering Samsung, Apple, QMobile, Alcatel, Lenovo and Huawei smartphones.

Fueling the Smartphone penetration through Carrier and OEM Collaboration

As far as the data bundles are concerned, Jazz is offering more volume of 3G/LTE with mid and low-range smartphones. Jazz is offering free 6 GB data with Lenovo K5 Plus for 6 months which is worth Rs. 23,500 whereas, with high-end smartphones like Samsung S8 and S8+, Jazz offers 1 month unlimited internet offer for its customers. However, there are some other limitations while utilizing the free data bundles of Jazz network like the offer must be availed within 3 working days otherwise it will be discarded from the package. These offers are mostly for prepaid users and only few handsets with data bundles are offered for postpaid customers.

New comers like Infinix, Lenovo, and Xiamoi etc. can  also grab this opportunity and utilize carriers’ platforms to sell their devices

Ufone is the only mobile operator in Pakistan that has collaborated with only one OEM i.e. Apple and that too with no data offer. This clearly indicates that a customer would not go for iPhone from Ufone as it is not offering any free data, SMS or minutes with it.

Fueling the Smartphone penetration through Carrier and OEM Collaboration

Besides the obvious benefits for consumers and business, such collaborations will help to move a step forward towards digital Pakistan. It will help in creating a mobile friendly eco-system that will facilitate the flow of m-services in the country.

Ufone is the only mobile operator in Pakistan that has collaborated with only one OEM i.e. Apple and is offering iPhone with no data offer

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