Saudi operator Mobily has launched a range of Islamic applications and services for the holy month of Ramadan. The offer includes 10 days’ free access to the Mobily network after subscribing to the Islamic content services and applications such as the Islamic Dorar Application or Islamic App Store, which feature videos, prayers, lectures and lessons about fasting during Ramadan. Mobily earlier released Islamic albums in its Ranan service, allowing subscribers to set up to 10 different Ramadan ringtones changing at each call.
The holy month of Ramadan, which occurs this year from 17 June to 17 July, imposes a variety of duties on Muslims worldwide, including but not limited to fasting. By providing Ramadan-related apps and value-added services in Saudi Arabia, a country with a nearly 100 percent Muslim population, Mobily is cementing and deepening its relationship with its existing subscribers. In addition, the accompanying offer of 10 days’ worth of free service should help entice non-subscribers as well, and thereby generate some new business that will endure long after Ramadan 2015 has ended. In general, we find that religious apps and services are quite attractive to mobile customers, given that mobile devices are now an essential part of everyday life, as are religious observances. Culturally specific mobile offerings—including religious ones—have proved an effective way for operators to build loyalty and increase revenue.