OnMobile Global has announced a partnership in Africa with content aggregator Starfish Mobile International, to offer ring back tones (RBT) and IVR (interactive voice response) services to mobile subscribers in Africa.
Starfish Mobile International has operations in 21 countries in Africa, and according to its website, has relationships with operators like Vodacom, MTN, Tigo, Zain (now Airtel Africa), Qtel, Warid, among others. It has partnerships with over 65 different content suppliers, covering Text based Information on Demand, Wallpapers, Ring Tones, Games and Applications, and Video. It has partnerships with the likes of the BBC and German media company Deutsche Welle. The OnMobile partnership allows Starfish to leverage its relationships with content partners and telecom operators to offer RBT and IVR services. In Africa, as per the statement, OnMobile has deployments in Tanzania and Egypt (courtesy its Vodafone deal).
This deal is a part of OnMobile expanding the base for its RBT and IVR services to overseas markets, since the Indian market for VAS services has been flattening; OnMobile has significant partnerships with Vodafone and Telefonica for multiple international markets, and it’s Latin America deployment is just about complete.
These deals have given OnMobile a larger market for its core RBT services, but remember that OnMobile’s investments and acquisitions have largely been around acquiring a product portfolio. From what we’ve gathered from their reports and earnings calls, apart from RBT and IVR, other products haven’t achieved the same success.