Orange Egypt has introduced new data plans, called Dragon, that have dedicated data for popular apps and music-streaming services. The plans include 3,000 “dragonbytes” and 50 minutes for EGP 35.00 (US $1.98) per month or 7,000 dragonbytes and 150 minutes for EGP 70.00 (US $3.95).
Each so-called dragonbyte is worth 1 MB on Twitter, Snapchat, Ghannily, Soundcloud, Apple Music, TuneIn, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. For other sites or apps, one dragonbyte is worth 500 KB. For voice, five minutes from the bundle are charged for one minute of off-net calls. If customers renew a bundle before it expires, any unused minutes or data are carried over to the next period. Outside the bundle, calls cost EGP 0.14 (US $0.008) per minute, and data is EGP 1.00 (US $0.06) per 50 MB.
Orange Egypt has come up with an interesting variant on the concept of plan flexibility—or at least an innovative way of expressing it to subscribers. The “dragonbyte” is not a fixed quantity but a flexible unit that has one valuation for one category of usage and another (half as much) for the rest. Whether that will appeal to Orange customers, confuse them or make them feel manipulated is yet to be seen, but in the most favorable outcome, it will simply be a way to purchase services in a way that provides cost savings without fully committing users to consuming the designated content.
From Orange’s point of view, the Dragon plans allow popular apps and services to be promoted without zero-rating them. The operator can still derive direct revenue from WhatsApp, Facebook, etc., while also incentivizing its subscribers to use them and thereby increase their data spend.