To feed web-hungry masses, Telenor expands Opera partnership
By Digital News Asia March 26, 2013
- Partnership now includes email, application store, payment solution and advertising opportunities
- Via Opera Mini, telco operator DiGi gained nearly half a million new users in just four months
TELENOR Group and Opera Software have announced a re-commitment and an expansion of their partnership to bring the mobile web to Telenor’s customers.
“We have already seen rapid uptake of a co-branded version of the Opera Mini mobile browser in our business units, helping our many basic-phone customers experience the Internet, sometimes for the first time. We believe this re-forged partnership will open up even more opportunities for our business units and our customers to take advantage of the full benefits of the web,” says Rolv-Erik Spilling (pic), head of Telenor Digital Services.
The new agreement involves an expanded scope beyond web browsing and now includes Opera’s email, application store, payment solution and advertising opportunities.
Telenor’s global business units will also gain more real estate on the browser home screen, to enable a new channel of direct-to-customer communication that helps drive traffic to specific content sources.
Opera was initially selected as a Telenor partner two years ago, due to Opera's status as a best-of-breed browser on basic phones, in addition to its data compression capabilities that create a faster Internet experience for users and a lighter load on the network.
“By creating a service ecosystem around the Opera Mini browser, we are giving Telenor’s global operations more control and more real estate with which to communicate new offers and create campaigns for their customers,” said Lars Boilesen, chief executive officer, Opera Software.
“We look forward to seeing even more customers around the world enjoying a great web experience from Opera and Telenor,” he added.
Opera Mini has been a particular success for Telenor’s Malaysian operator DiGi and Bangladeshi operator Grameenphone.
Grameenphone's campaigns resulted in 1.3 million new users of the co-branded Opera Mini in just one year, while DiGi gained nearly half a million new users in just four months. As of September 2011, DiGi’s market share in terms of Opera Mini users had grown from 32% to 38%.
To increase the number of users of the co-branded Opera Mini, DiGi and dtac in Thailand also launched campaigns that enabled users surfing with the Telenor co-branded version of Opera Mini to access content from Wikipedia and Facebook at no data charge.
DiGi was also the first operator worldwide to launch Opera's new web pass concept in November 2012, where users can buy easy-to-understand data plans in a way similar to how they buy apps.
In February of this year, the operator also announced it was offering free access to the latter’s micro-blogging social media site via the Opera Mini browser.