Voda Voice SMS Success

Within two months of launch, Vodafone Egypt has seen a massive take-up of its new ‘Voice SMS’ service, with 15% of its subscriber base making use, already improving ARPU by 1.5%.
The major impact of the Voice SMS service, which Vodafone Egypt launched under the brand name MiniCall, is in sharp contrast to most other new services launched by operators globally in recent years. Above all, the success of this and other BubbleTALK implementations compares favourably with other messaging technologies, as SMS revenues remain flat, MMS usage remains low and Push-to-Talk and consumer mobile email have failed to take off.

Critically, the new BubbleTALK service is generating a new and stable revenue stream without cannibalising existing services, including SMS.

This demonstrates that the availability of Voice SMS has created new situations where people want to use messaging, where they would not have thought to use it previously. In particular, Vodafone Egypt’s subscribers are using Voice SMS to convey more emotional messages in a way that text-based messaging cannot achieve.

Part of the attraction of the BubbleTALK service is that consumers are able to send Voice SMS messages to subscribers from other network operators in Egypt. The BubbleTALK service also works on any handset that is capable of voice and SMS and requires zero client software to be installed on the handset.

The 15% penetration figure under three months is in line with Bubble Motion’s projections for consumer take-up. Bubble Motion typically implements the Voice SMS solution within just 3 weeks, making Voice SMS a new core service alongside voice and SMS.

Richard Daly, Chief Commercial Officer at Vodafone Egypt said: "We have high expectations for the BubbleTALK service and the success of MiniCall launch in Egypt proves that we are on the right track. Our subscribers have started to use the service and recommend it to their friends and family. This is only a start as the product evidently has more potential of being a key messaging product in the market"

Bill Crawley, VP Business Development Asia-Pacific and MEA commented, Bubble Motion commented: "In an industry that has been searching in vain for a new ‘killer app’, BubbleTALK is starting to look more and more like it may just fit the bill. The fact that Vodafone Egypt and other operators are experiencing such rapid, tangible results demonstrates that operators would be wise to prioritise Voice SMS over riskier new services."

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