Demand for multiple mobile profiles presents sizable opportunities in both developing and developed markets. In emerging markets, using more than one SIM is common and is mainly driven by bargain hunting. In Botswana, for instance, the number of subscriptions reached 152% of the population in 2012, even though only 66% of the population used mobile phones, meaning that most mobile users held more than one SIM card. As for developed markets, people there are trying to find a way of using their mobile phones affordably when they travel and often have a second number for the sake of convenience. Everywhere, mobile subscribers are increasingly adopting multiple mobile profiles, and operators are beginning to respond to user needs with new and innovative products and services.
This Insider Report will examine various ways in which operators can respond to the situation and the merits of these approaches. Demand for multiple mobile identities is different in developing and developed countries. Generally, in developed markets a strategy of supplementing existing services with value-added services is used most widely, while users in developing markets will be more sensitive to offers that can improve their daily lives. This Insider presents case studies of operators including Airtel and Tigo Rwanda as well as the pure plays Movirtu and OneSimCard, examining how these different market participants approach the multiple mobile identities opportunity. We conclude with some recommendations.
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