bmobile Case Study
In 2005, TSTT launched the bmobile brand, and its growth to date is driven by 20 years of mobile services development and innovation by the company. Through bmobile, T&T became one of the earliest adapters of GSM technology in the region and bmobile went on to pioneer the deployment of mobile Internet in T&T. With the eventual emergence of a fertile mobile environment, bmobile was faced with the challenge of retaining their position with the introduction of competition in the mobile market. In order to continue generating revenues and maintaining their subscriber base, they sought ways of driving network traffic by offering a diverse range of products and services to their customers.
As the longstanding provider of telecommunications services in Trinidad and Tobago, TSTT started offering mobile services from as early as 1991 in addition to its landline service. At the time, their mobile offering was limited to voice based services, where customers paid for all incoming and outgoing calls.
TSTT was a monopoly in the mobile market, and the focus was placed on generating revenue from their mobile service since customer retention was not a concern at the time. The perception of mobile usage held by the general public was that having a cell phone was expensive, where only business type personalities and emergency cases really warranted mobile phone use. By the year 2000, the number of persons in the twin island republic that owned a cell phone grew as the cost of owning a cell phone began to drop. TSTT’s network was based on TDMA technology at the time, however in 2003 TSTT migrated to a GSM based network which enabled them to provide more features to their customer base.
Although their customers could now get more sophisticated handsets with additional features, the mobile offering was still mainly voice based. Additionally, TSTT also switched to a “caller party pays” model where revenue was only generated from the person making the mobile call. Everyone was using voice, but there were other network features on their platform that were not being used. In an effort to tap into these features and gain revenue, TSTT launched their SMS service. In the first instance, they were able to offer peer to peer messaging.
The challenge at this point was to change the minds of customers to see mobile use as part of their everyday lifestyle; to change the view that it was expensive and encourage customers to appreciate and use value added services.
In 2003, TSTT partnered with Teleios to provide SMS based content solutions to their subscribers. With their continued partnership and utilization of the Teleios MessageCentral Mobile Messaging Service Delivery Platform, bmobile has been able to retain their customer base and attract new customers, providing several value added mobile solutions for business, entertainment and information dissemination.
MessageCentral is the service delivery engine behind value added SMS services on the bmobile network in Trinidad and Tobago. With MessageCentral in place, bmobile was able to introduce a number of customized SMS content services on their network featuring branded services like Infotext, LINK and My Lime, as well as interactive Text2Win mobile competitions associated with various bmobile campaigns.
"Teleios and MessageCentral opened the door for us to provide a wide range of value added SMS services and as a result we have seen an increase in mobile service revenues during the last 3-4 years"
- Rhonda Allicock (Product Manager Mobile Commercial Operations Department)
- Infotext services- subscription based content services. Customers subscribe to receive desired content from available categories and content is delivered automatically on a scheduled basis. Infotext continues to be one of the most popular services and has been a significant contributor to SMS growth.
- My Lime- one of bmobile’s Friends & Family services allowing customers’ preferential rates to numbers on their ‘My Lime’ list. Bmobile uses MessageCentral to provide an SMS based self service facility. This significantly reduces the cost of call center operations since subscribers simply use SMS to manage their My Lime list instead of tying up the call center. This also provides the subscriber with great flexibility in managing their lists.
- LINK- a bmobile youth oriented community where members are informed via SMS of deals, specials, promotions and events based on their interests.
Interactive SMS promotions and services (e.g. Text2Win promotions, Interactive TV/ radio, voting).
As bmobile delivered on these value- added SMS services, customers began demanding and expecting more SMS based services. Working with the team at Teleios and using MessageCentral, bmobile was able to launch a series of successful campaigns and promotions such as interactive Text2Win promotions, Voting by SMS (People’s Choice), text to screen (powered by Teleios LiveScreen), My Lime and the LINK mobile community to name a few. With MessageCentral, bmobile continued to show their leadership in the market by delivering innovative top-up based SMS promotions geared at driving prepaid top ups. Promotions of this nature, which had never before been done in the Trinidad & Tobago market, garnered an overwhelming response from bmobile’s customer base yielding high returns with regard to changes in top-up behavior and volume. The MessageCentral Platform and applications were robust and flexible enough to successfully deliver on these high volume services bringing great value to bmobile.
Based on the number of additional SMS services made possible by MessageCentral, there was a significant increase in network traffic. These services contributed significantly to bmobile being able to meet and surpass their revenue targets in the last 3 years. Additionally, bmobile has the dominant mobile market share and has succeeded in retaining existing customers while simultaneously attracting new ones. Bmobile continues to drive excitement and build mind-share on their network through the use of the MessageCentral Platform. This year for instance, with their recent John Legend promotion, they saw a major jump in the number of subscribers to their LINK Entertainment group which is a continuing indicator of a growing number of active, interested subscribers.
Their subscribers have now come to expect new, innovative, dynamic services as the standard for all things bmobile, and bmobile seeks to maintain their position in their customers’ minds, keeping them engaged and excited.