Saudi operator Mobily is offering a package of content services for both individuals and families during the month-long (5 June–5 July) Muslim holiday of Ramadan through audio and text messages. Users can try the service free for the first week. Mobily and the UFM Radio station present exclusive services that can be obtained by sending a text message. These services include special holiday recipes, as well as “The Story of a Verse,” an educational service offering lessons from the Quran. There are also services offering instruction in Islamic history and teachings specifically aimed at women.
As we have noted in the past, content services targeted at a particular ethnic or religious group are generally very successful for mobile operators, and these offerings of Islamic-oriented content from a Saudi operator during the holy month of Ramadan are a perfect example. All over the Islamic world, Ramadan is the occasion for operators to roll out promotions and religiously-oriented content. What makes this one noteworthy is the partnership with a radio station, because, as we have also noted frequently in the past, operators can shine in the area of value-added content by partnering with other entities that are better equipped to design and package such content. Mobily’s offer thus combines two basic principles of success for operators looking to transcend the “dumb pipe” role.