Movistar Chile (owned by Spain-based multinational Telefónica) has introduced the country’s first unlimited data bundles for users without a contract. The operator’s prepaid subscribers can now acquire a one-day bundle of all-you-can-eat LTE data for CLP 1,000 (US $1.66) a day, rising to CLP 2,000 (US $3.32) for a two-day bundle and CLP 3,000 (US $4.98) for three days. The promotion is initially available until 28 February, according to the operator, adding that its five other prepaid bundles currently come with double the usual data and voice minutes.
It is a good indication of the growing demand for large amounts of high-speed data that now an operator is making it available even to prepaid customers. Traditionally the prepaid option has been associated with budget-minded, lower-spending customers who were expected to want to economize on data. But considering that the use of data-intensive features on smart devices such as video chatting, video streaming, and music streaming is becoming increasingly popular and prevalent, it makes sense that even prepaid customers would feel that they need more data. To meet the need by offering unlimited LTE data on a per diem basis, therefore, also makes sense. That is even more true in a market where a significant proportion of customers choose to have a pay-as-you-go relationship with their mobile operators.
It should be noted that the choice to go prepaid may also owe something to the increasing desire for flexibility and freedom on the part of consumers from a wide range of wealth levels. In that context, access to data on a per diem basis is desirable simply because it affords this flexibility. Movistar’s offering allows users to buy data one day at a time, and also provides the ability to purchase it two and three days at a time, presumably for convenience’s sake only, since there is no savings associated with buying more days.