Vodafone Ghana has launched an offer called Talk to Browse, which allows customers to browse the internet free for a time that depends on the number of local calls made. For every minute of call duration, a customer instantly receives 10 MB free of charge.
The free subscription offer is aimed at rewarding customers for every local call that lasts more than a minute. Customers can sign up by dialing 5050.
We find this simple offer interesting because it encourages the use of voice calling by incentivizing users with rewards of data. There is something counterintuitive, indeed paradoxical, about this defense of traditional telephony via a giveaway of precisely that service—mobile data—that is causing users to rely less and less on voice.
Nonetheless, Vodafone Ghana is clearly motivated by a desire to maximize the use of its network for all services, not just data services. Considering that a simple 10-minute call brings a gift of 100 extra megabytes outside the user’s plan allowance, we can imagine that this strategy will work, to a point. However, if a user is over his or her minutes, incurring overage charges just to get free data does not seem economical, as it renders the data no longer free. The fact that the free data is only offered for local calls also serves to limit the appeal somewhat. Nonetheless, this is an innovative idea that may well benefit the operator and its customers.