Italian operator 3 Italia has launched a time-limited mobile offering during the Easter season, targeted at teenage users. The operator’s All-In Teen Limited Edition bundle comes with 10 GB of data, 1,000 minutes of calls and 100 SMS for €5.00 (US $5.32) a month. There is a one-off activation fee of €9.00 (US $9.57), and the offer is only available to users who port their numbers from TIM or MVNOs by 19 April.
We have written on several occasions about the strengths of the youth market and the importance for mobile operators of cultivating it. We generally understand “youth” to refer to young adults, who are digital natives and are still forming their spending habits and brand loyalties. But we should be aware that the age at which people become users of mobile technology is getting lower and lower, especially in affluent markets. As a result of this trend, operators can benefit from getting hold of potential long-term customers as early as possible.
Pushing the definition of the mobile youth market downward in terms of age is going to be increasingly prevalent, we believe. 3 Italia’s move, although a short-term promotional one with limited eligibility, is indicative of the direction in which MNOs might choose to go. The All-In Teen Limited Edition bundle seems appropriately designed, in that it includes a fairly generous data allotment to accommodate teens’ desire for streaming entertainment content and games, as well as a good number of voice minutes but not many SMS, reflecting young users’ preference for OTT messaging apps.
The extremely low monthly rate is also a thought-provoking idea, in that it suggests that the teens would be paying for this plan themselves, rather than having their parents pay. What this means is that the operator clearly wants the teens to be making the brand choice, so that they can be cultivated for future, and indeed long-term, loyalty. For MNOs, the argument that the earlier you can get them, the longer you can keep them is likely to be increasingly persuasive.