Ring Back Tones could fill the gap in the African mobile market

Sony Xperia Z1 smartphones AfricaRing Back Tones can be tailored to inform, as well as entertain, smartphone users. (Image source: ulfb/Wikimedia Commons)The development of digital music is something hot on Africa’s 'to-do list' to ensure correct content on the continent, writes Biswajit Nandi, ‎vice-president for the Middle East & Africa at OnMobile Global Ltd

There is a clear gap in the market in Africa – as consumers independently shift to growing social media trends such as Facebook and Twitter, operators are losing their subscribers. These global phenomenon may attract many consumers across the world, but there is a way to stay relevant in Africa and that is with digital music.

Digital music and self expression tool Ring Back Tones (RBT) is something that is paving the way in the African market. RBT, traditionally used to play music to your caller while waiting for you to answer the phone, is growing and evolving to become useful to the subscriber.

With the growth of smartphones imminent on the continent, the new developments in RBT are more useful now than ever before. Offering features such as GPS syncing, so that your phone knows when you are driving and unable to answer the call, and time-zone tracking, RBT is tailoring its music to not only entertain, but to inform the caller as to why the recipient cannot answer the phone at that time.  These messages can be personalised to the point where a caller can even press one to receive a text alert as to when you are available to speak.

These kinds of services are an opportunity for operators to lock their subscribers in, regardless of handset, as the applications are offered directly by the operator and not via an app store or device.

The deployment of 3G and HD networks has also supported growth in the music market in Africa. Consumers are streaming music and videos via their devices at speeds never reached before, improving their user experience.

OnMobile’s large variety of digital music applications is something that is proving successful in the race to stay relevant. Complimented by the popularity of RBT, digital music services are easily showing Africa that the future of mobile is content, and this is something OnMobile will continue to evolve and deliver.

Biswajit Nandi

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