Uzbekistan mobile operator UMS has launched two new offers, called Optimal and Optimal+. For a monthly subscription of UZS 33,000 (US $4.00), Optimal gives users a 1 GB data bundle, 600 minutes of on-net calls and 600 SMS to all networks within Uzbekistan.
The Optimal+ package is aimed at the most active internet users. For UZS 33,000 per month, they receive 1.6 GB of data, 200 minutes of on-net calls and 200 SMS to all networks within Uzbekistan.
With its new Optimal options, UMS (Uzbekistan Mobile Services, formerly branded as MTS) is responding appropriately to market trends in the direction of greater mobile data consumption and greater customer demand for flexibility.
Even in an economy like that of Uzbekistan, which is not at the stage of development of, say, the U.S. or Western European markets, more and more mobile customers are using quantities of data each month that can be measured in gigabytes rather than megabytes. This pattern is driven by increasing participation in entertainment streaming, gaming, and the sharing of videos and photos. By responding to the needs of these high-level users with generous data offerings at reasonable prices, UMS will be positioning itself well to garner new subscribers and good retention rates in a market with four other operators and no great disparities in pricing.
The flexibility issue is dealt with by offering two versions of Optimal for the same monthly price, with the services being spread differently across data versus voice/SMS. Weighting the “plus” version toward data with 1.6 GB instead of 1 GB and offering less voice and data should meet the needs of those who privilege internet use and OTT messaging over voice and SMS, while the basic Optimal will satisfy those who still need significant quantities of voice and SMS service but who can by no means be considered light or moderate data users.