Spain-based multinational operator Telefónica has announced the debut of its prepaid, youth-focused Tuenti MVNO in Guatemala, which it says will feature flexibility and transparency. The available voice-and-data bundles range from 1.5 GB of data and 75 minutes of calls for GTQ 50.00 (US $6.50) to 3 GB and 100 minutes for GTQ 75.00 (US $10.00) and 5 GB and 125 minutes for GTQ 100.00 (US $13.50). The plans also include unlimited access to WhatsApp, unlimited calls to other Tuenti subscribers and 25 minutes of VoIP calls through the Tuenti app.
Guatemala is the fifth Latin American market in which the Tuenti MVNO brand has been launched; first Mexico in 2014, then Argentina, Peru and Ecuador. The Mexican experiment did not go very well, and Telefónica discontinued Tuenti in that country, but that does not appear to be an indicator that this type of service is, generally speaking, a weak competitor. Most likely, the budget MVNO faced too much competition in Mexico, while in the other markets it is able to garner more market share.
As we have written in the past, the youth market is a fast-growing and potentially very lucrative one for mobile operators. Young people, while budget-minded by necessity, are strongly inclined to use large amounts of mobile data, and they are at an age when consumption habits and brand loyalties are being formed. Therefore, generous and low-priced offerings of data on a prepaid, low-commitment basis are the right way to get and keep these valuable customers.
Tuenti’s Guatemala service fits the bill in terms of price as well as data allowances—which, though not princely, they are adequately generous and appropriate for streaming entertainment content. The zero-rating of WhatsApp recognizes the fact that youth tend to rely heavily on OTT messaging.
While Tuenti does not offer specifically youth oriented entertainment content, it does offer calls to other Tuenti users, which is at least a nod to the particularly social nature of its target demographic.