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Summary

Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) has established a marketing agreement with mobile messaging giant WhatsApp, the first of its kind in the Caribbean. The partnership will offer the full range of WhatsApp features across CWC networks, and subscribers will receive additional benefits through various bundles that CWC will offer. It seems that the company has learned from some of the biggest operators in Latin America that have used the WhatsApp brand to create innovative packages.

WhatsApp partnerships take many forms

CWC has entered into the strategic marketing agreement with WhatsApp to provide an easy way for customers in the Caribbean to access WhatsApp from their mobile devices. The operator hasn’t detailed the bundles it plans to offer, but WhatsApp-branded voice and data packs would likely do well considering the messaging app’s popularity in the Caribbean. The deal makes CWC’s brands Flow, BTC, and LIME the only authorized providers of WhatsApp data bundles in the region.

As the first telco-WhatsApp partnership in the Caribbean, this agreement may help CWC gain new customers and reduce churn. Beyond sales to new customers, the impact of the deal on revenues is less clear. If CWC follows in the footsteps of some Latin American operators by providing zero-rated WhatsApp, it will not require any data plan to function. If not zero-rated, the use of WhatsApp can increase data usage and revenues if customers move up to higher tiers.

CWC could also introduce free WhatsApp roaming passes to use it while roaming internationally, as 3HK in Hong Kong has done, or the operator could use WhatsApp for branding purposes, as Claro Brasil has.

OTTs are also in search of ways to increase revenues, and shaking hands with MNOs suits them. Although any revenue impact remains to be seen, this agreement is definitely a step ahead in CWC’s mission of “connecting communities and transforming lives” in the Caribbean.

Appendix

Further reading

TelcoOTT Partnerships: Tigo adds competitive music streaming service in Latin America, TE0001-000996 (October 2015)

“OTT and telcos must find new ways to collaborate,” TE0001-000963 (April 2015)

Author

Amit Kumar Rai, Analyst, North and South America

amitkumar.rai@ovum.com

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