Voda gets boost from Bubble Motion

Voice SMS developer Bubble Motion was touting its latest customer win on Wednesday, announcing that Vodafone Egypt has seen 15 per cent of its subscriber base adopt the service within two months of launch. The BubbleTalk service, which Vodafone markets under the MiniCall brand, allows users to record a voice message that is sent like an SMS. The recipient receives a text message linking through to the voice message and no client is required on either the sender or the recipient’s handset.The 15 per cent penetration figure for Vodafone Egypt is in line with Bubble Motion’s projections for consumer take up, the company said, adding that its service has also improved Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for users of the service by 1.5 per cent within the same time frame.Sunil Coushik, president and co-founder of Bubble Motion, said that BubbleTalk compares favourably with other messaging technologies, “as SMS revenues remain flat, MMS usage remains low and Push to Talk and consumer mobile email have failed to take off.” Also, the service does not cannibalise existing revenue streams such as SMS.With the exception of Vodafone Egypt, Bubble Motion’s customer base is mostly in Asia – Airtel in India, DiGi in Malaysia, CSL and New World Mobility Hong Kong, Indosat in Indonesia and M1 in Singapore. Coushik told that this was because operators in developing markets move faster and are keen to build ARPU. Also, “voicemail – as an accidental messaging medium – is not popular in Asia,” he said.

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