In a Landmark partnership expected to benefit over 500 million mobile customers across three fast developing regions, SingTel Group and Samsung have unveiled a suite of joint initiatives to bring improved mobile data experiences to customers.
The partnership covers five major emerging market operator groups - SingTel, AIS in Thailand, Airtel in India and Africa, Globe Telecom in the Philippines and Telkomsel in Indonesia, plus Optus in Australia. The collaboration aims to differentiate the entities’ services and improve their competitiveness in as many as 22 different developing countries.
The initiatives cut across many areas of mobile marketing, content and technology. They include a retail collaboration programme, direct carrier billing, a regional mobile app development challenge and direct access to selected apps.
The retail collaboration programme simplifies the customer retail experience by providing a one-stop shop for customers' smartphone needs at selected stores of Samsung and the SingTel Group’s regional mobile associates. Typically, customers in these markets have to acquire the mobile device and the mobile plan separately from the phone distributor and mobile operators. This special arrangement will further cement the Group’s associates’ brand presence with mid- and high-end customers of Samsung. This initiative is now available to customers of Globe Telecom in the Philippines and will be progressively made available to customers of Airtel in India and Telkomsel in Indonesia.
Ernest Cu, CEO of Globe Telecom said, "Globe and Samsung have a strong collaboration in the Philippines to give mobile phone users a differentiated customer experience. This will be brought to life with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5 in the country, with Globe offering the best postpaid deals complemented by exclusive privileges, further cementing our leadership in the postpaid market."
SingTel is the first South East Asian operator to offer direct carrier billing for Samsung Apps allowing its postpaid customers to buy apps and content from Samsung Apps without a credit card. This initiative will be progressively rolled out to AIS, Globe Telecom and Telkomsel customers. Customers of these companies will shortly be able to buy apps and content from Samsung Apps by simply charging the purchase amount to their phone bills or deducting it from their prepaid account balances.
Wichien Mektrakarn, CEO, AIS, said, "This is a fantastic opportunity for all AIS customers. They will have access to the latest applications that cater to any lifestyles imaginable. This is all made possible through this collaboration."
With direct carrier billing, customers in emerging markets will have an alternative means for payment instead of using credit cards.
Members of the SingTel Group and Samsung are also coming together to give the app development ecosystem a boost. The mobile app development sponsorship programme will identify innovative start-ups in the region and help them to accelerate their development and gain access to the Group’s 500 million mobile customers. Selected developers from this programme will have the opportunity to have their apps marketed by the partners in their respective markets.
Samsung together with SingTel Group Digital L!fe aim to deliver exciting mobile services to customers by enabling customers to access selected services directly on the phone without the need to download them. The applications are carefully customised to reflect local requirements. Content and will be initially offered on the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Christian de Faria, Airtel Africa’s CEO said, "Airtel has Africa’s widest internet footprint given its African presence across 17 countries; and mobile devices are already the main platform for internet access given the limited reach of the fixed broadband network. Despite the astonishing progress of the industry in recent years, the biggest impact of the mobile internet in Africa is yet to come."
Mr DJ Lee, President and Head of Global Sales and Marketing of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics said, "This unique partnership with SingTel Group is important for us to reach a broader audience across the markets we operate in. Samsung, together with SingTel Group, a visionary group of operators, aims to bring better and a more complete set of products and services to our consumers."