Brazil may become a model for the rest of Latin America with regard to sponsored data project, also known as reverse data billing; when a company bears the cost of mobile traffic access to your application. There are four commercial cases currently operating in Brazil (Bradesco, Netshoes, Privalia and Mercado Livre in operating order), with mobile marketing agency – MUV – responsible for brokering three of them with local operators, wanting to take this idea to the rest of Latin America. Hiring Carolina Espinosa, she is the executive responsible for strategy and business planning, and for closing sponsored data opportunities in the region. Various discussions have been initiated with this objective, especially the markets of Argentina and Mexico. The expectation is that a pilot project outside of Brazil in the first quarter of 2017, says Marcelo Castelo, founding partner and CEO of MUV.
“The timing is very good for new projects, along with the hiring of Caroline. She took care of Dafiti in Argentina. And I wanted someone with experience outside Brazil because we are getting outside projects,” explains the executive. “We believe that this product works well not only in Brazil but throughout Latin America. I’ve talked to people in Jamaica, Chile, Dominican Republic … Brazil is at least two or three years ahead of the rest of the region,” he adds.
Castelo believes, similar to Brazil, that banks and retailers will demand this type of solution in the rest of Latin America. The more difficult, however, is to overcome the resistance of telcos abroad, as some still fear the risk of cannibalization, or losing revenue data because projects with this model.
“Outside of Brazil, the operator wants to charge a more expensive cost to the customer, for fear of cannibalization. But this is not written in stone, it’s the first conversation and there are people willing to do the pilot for free. Maybe at the beginning of 2017 we have a free pilot project to help demystify the fear of cannibalization, “he says.
MUV’s technical partner – Datami – integrates with telcos when their customers have apps that have pages with dynamic IP addresses. This would normally be a lot of engineering work is the telcos were to do this themselves. This is the case of most mobile commerce apps, for example. Datami is currently negotiating its integration with telcos in several Latin American countries.
In Brazil, Castelo says that another three data sponsored projects will be launched in the coming months. There will be a mobile commerce in December and two banks in January.