MobileTelecoms

What exactly does the MTN SME BIZPack offer?

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We’ve seen the ads but do we know what exactly it offers? Zambia has reached a level where SMEs (small medium enterprises) are sprouting up everywhere. They have a demand for data hence the innovation by MTN Zambia to offer them packages that suit their business needs, called the SME BIZPacks.

There are 3 types, offering the following according to their website:

SME BIZPack LITE – K 499 SME BIZPack Standard – K999 SME BIZPack Advanced – K1999
Free 4G Router (32 Connections) Free 4G Router (32 Connections) Free 4G Router (32 Connections)
200 Voice Minutes (On-net) 450 Voice Minutes (On-net) 1000 Voice Minutes (On-net)
200 SMSes 450 SMSes 1000 SMSes
1 GB data 3GB data 6GB data
3 Free SIM Cards 5 Free SIM Cards 10 Free SIM Cards

What’s great about it? 

The fact that you can budget the amount of money you spend on communication, the SME BIZPack packages help you with saving money, as you would spend more for the same amount of data, call time and SMSes. You get access to voice, data via a free 4G/LTE router and you get free SIM cards you can distribute to your staff as ‘company numbers’ if you want.

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The Problems

An SME in Zambia ranges from very small businesses to large corporations depending on the annual turnover and number of employees, and may differ in definition from industry to industry, from a one-man owned kantemba (kiosk) to  business with more employees.

Firstly, you can only sign up for the SME BIZPack service if you’re a postpaid or hybrid customer. It had me thinking, most SME businesses are owned by exactly that, small and medium business owners. So I’ll take the case of a kiosk owner who qualifies as a small enterprise owner. He/she is most likely not on a postpaid account, rather prepaid. This automatically disqualifies him from getting the offer which is initially meant for people like him. The target market then becomes strictly intended for the higher end of the SME scale.

The packages should be opened up to even prepaid owners. When they sign up for the package, then they can sign the contract which binds them to pay for the service. Besides, MTN has every subscriber on their network under the KYC (Know Your Customer) system so it’s easy to trace them if they default. However, the postpaid requirement should be done away with because that is not the majority of their clientele, and this is a poor choice of customer acquisition strategy to get people on board the postpaid train.

The minutes and SMSes are only limited to on-net calls, as if all business is just done on the MTN network. They should have opened it up to cross-networks rather than staying in their own bubble.  The MTN FAQ section on their website  also states that a subscriber can also only top up airtime if they are on the Hybrid plan, meaning once you sign up for the Bizpack while on postpaid you can’t top up. The subscriber may be forced to have another number to make cross network calls then because Bizpack minutes and SMSes are closed off.

Conclusion 

The entire package seems to be catered to just MTN, which is sad because I think the moment telecoms companies work together rather than against each other, the more business they all get.The use of two SIM cards. one belonging to another network, is what they may be trying to avoid but does that work if their subscribers have no access to other networks when they need to communicate with packages like this? Competition is important but it’s not about what you do, more like how well you do it…

 Image Credit: MTN Zambia on LinkedIn

Comments (1)

  1. […] comes to communications needs but the conditions seem a little restrictive. Just read for yourself here and see if you agree with […]

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