Millicom CEO believes demographics are on his side - Mobile World Live

Millicom CEO believes demographics are on his side

21 SEP 2016

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 LATIN AMERICA, MEXICO: Operators have a growing set of young, mobile-centric users to pursue, but must first learn to price data correctly, reflected Millicom CEO Mauricio Ramos.

Over the next ten years, Latin America’s middle class is forecast to increase by 60 per cent, he said, a statistic that applies to both Millicom’s own footprint and the region as a whole. This growing group of users will inevitably drive operators’ business.

“It’s a law of demographics,” Ramos said.

He listed what this slice of the population, educated and with a disposable income, will expect from mobile services, including VR and the ability to pay with their smartphone. “They want all of this, the same as young people in Washington or Amsterdam. The only difference is timing.”

But to reap the benefits, operators need to understand their own costs. How data is priced will dictate whether they succeed or not.  Pricing must be designed to protect investment in the underlying network, he said.

Ramos gave the example of Millicom’s All You App, which offers content for prepaid users. The pricing model offers unlimited use of apps for a limited time at a fixed price. Making the tariff time-based means the pricing can match different times of day.

“This type of pricing will not jeopardise operators’ ability to invest,” he said, effectively matching capacity requirement and network investment.

“We must price data efficiently, or we fail as an industry and fail society too. It is fundamental to understand how to price data,” he said, as otherwise operators will not give the aspiring middle class of Latin America what they want.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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