What can 6MB of Mobile data really do?

This is what 6MB of mobile data can actually do. If you are reading this from Uganda then you have probably heard about MTN’s latest mobile data freedom initiative. If you have not then, in a nutshell, MTN Uganda now offers never expiring data bundles. While this is something to write home about, what has made more news is one of the never expiring bundles which is 6MB that costs just UGX 100.

On the surface, 6 never expiring MBs of mobile data sounds like a really bad joke and in a way it is, until you look beyond the surface to understand why this offer makes sense.

I am not a member of MTN’s business team or even an employee for that matter but as a techie on the outside looking in, 6MB is the biggest incentive to trying out a new tech trend that I have ever seen.

Take the case of Uganda’s internet inclusion numbers. From 2018 to 2019 the number of mobile phone subscribers went up by 2.7% and it is growing.

Many of these people are getting internet-enabled devices that are not limited to smartphones. Just like the feature phone MTN has been selling.

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The disposal incomes of Ugandans are increasing and having a mobile phone today is less of a luxury. If you are a Telecom company who realises more people are getting phones and new ones are trying the internet, how best do you get them to choose you over the competition? You provide a sample. Not just any sample. A sample that is cheap, and foul proof like a 6MB data bundle that will never expire.

While the already existing active internet users will laugh and make this seem like rubbish, for the internet newbie who is not ready or cannot afford to drop 5k for 1 GB, the 6MB looks like a good place to start. After all, it is cheap, won’t disappear after 24 hours and is a proof of concept for MTN’s internet capabilities.

It helps MTN that they have a stronghold mobile money, voice services and phone hardware. If you feel the 6MB do not make sense to you, you most probably are not the target audience.

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