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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Airtel Bangladesh ties up with Comviva to enhance VAS growth

Seeking to increase low subscriber numbers, Airtel Bangladesh has tied up with Comviva to offer subscribers unique SMS facilities.
In a significant move to leverage VAS for the relatively low-penetration mobile market in Bangladesh, Airtel Bangladesh – a strategic arm of Bharti Airtel India, has tied up with Comviva to provide unique SMS facilities.
The messaging solutions that cover Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Short Message Service Center (SMSC) and BMG (Bulk Messaging Gateway) portfolio will drastically reduce overall cost around Airtel Bangladesh's operator portal, and will also provide the operator with a single-window web-based environment to access, create, execute and manage services.
According to Chris Tobit, CEO & MD, Airtel Bangladesh, “With SMS traffic enjoying continued strong growth, we needed a proven solution to manage the increased load without making major investment. We selected Comviva's messaging solutions to efficiently route traffic over our existing network infrastructure and deliver an improved level of service to our customers.”
Aimed at increasing SMS usage by Airtel Bangladesh subscribers, the solution will optimally deliver messages with minimal latency during periods of intense continuous traffic. Rich SMS features such as SMS Upload, SMS Storage, SMS Forward, SMS Copy, Auto Reply, Email notification, SMS Signature and Web Portal, are also some of the unique offerings.
Says Manoranjan Mohapatra, CEO, Comviva, “Comviva is working with all the leading mobile operators in Bangladesh to provide them with end-to-end mobile solutions beyond VAS. We see our messaging solution supporting airtel as they extend their service to newer segments across the country.”
Bangladesh, which has a mobile penetration of just over 30%, is expected to reach a 100 mn subscriber mark by 2015.The country has ARPU's as low as $2-3 per month, and there has been a limited uptake on MVAS.
Talking about how such sms services could help in reversing these statistics, Parminder Kaur Saini, Program Manager, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia & Middle East says, “Launching Value added SMS services in the region could help Airtel increase its subscriber share and generate higher revenues. While the complete bouquet of VAS services would be imperative with the launch of 3G expected early this year, this launch becomes essential and crucial.”
Bharti Airtel, which is the leading operator in India added over 3 mn mobile subscribers in October 2010, according to TRAI. MVAS has been one of the major drivers for its continued growth in this market as well.

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