Tech Giants Looking At Alternative Revenue Sources In Emerging Markets

Last February 27, Vimpelcom has rebranded itself as Veon, the name used for its digital messaging app. In order to compete effectively with other internet providers and be among the leading telcos, the company is offering “zero-rated” voice and data services free for Vimpelcom customers. The company has also teamed up with MasterCard, Studio+ platform, music streaming service Deezer and will.i.am wearable company.

Vimpelcom is the top network provider in Italy and 3rd largest in Russia. It wants to transform into a tech company that can compete in an emerging market where consumers opt for free internet through Google and Facebook. Simply performing as a telco operator is not a sustainable strategy for the company because tech companies must capture growth linked to digital mobile lifestyles.

Vimpelcom is not the first company that wants its platform to be available for free for all. Zero rating is somewhat controversial even if the “free” services allow billions of people to access the internet. Facebook’s free internet services were actually killed in India because it only offered a handful of choice services.

Norway-based Telnor and emerging market operator is currently collaborating with industry leaders and startups including the academia for a foray on data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, Megafon, Russia’s biggest network provider has bought the majority stake at its sister company Mail.ru so that it can control VKontakte, Russia’s Facebook equivalent. Vodafone on the other hand chose non-cellular growth investments by buying Cobra Automotive, an Italian car-connected company.

Vimpelcom first step as a successful tech firm is to consolidate an enormous amount of user data from its 235 million customers into a centralized system. The central data repository is very valuable when creating advertisements for consumers. For example, the messaging app Veon can recommend restaurant booking or taxi service to foster better relationships between customers and stores.

The reality however is the weak and non-existent mobile signal in several rural areas. Even in cities, many businesses experience weak cellular coverage inside buildings. A solution is offered by Myamplifiers through mobile phone signal booster that can amplify a weak signal so that a stable and consistent coverage will be created.

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