A year after it was due to begin operating here, telecommunications firm Ozone is set to “disrupt” the local mobile phone sector from next month.
The company, which had been issued with a licence three years ago, and is owned by businessman Pierre McMaster, will seek to penetrate the wireless market currently dominated by telecommunication giants Flow and Digicel, with promises of attractive data packages and flexible contracts with no long term commitment.
Details of Ozone’s plan to make its presence felt in a market that has proven to be tough for third party providers in the past, were revealed this morning during a media briefing at the company’s Manor Lodge headquarters at Warrens, St Michael.
Brand and Communications Manager Dianne Squires said the marketing strategy revolved around targeting the demographic which is heavily dependent on data usage.
She also anticipated that the non-contractual arrangement would be attractive to Barbadians.
“In terms of target audience we are looking for the profile of persons who love to consume and share data on the go every day. Key for us is no contract period; people are going to join our network and they are going to see that the service is so great that they would stay of their own volition. The customer mobile experience is really a key area for us and that’s what Ozone is going to be working extremely hard on,” Squires said.
Barbados TODAY first reported in April last year that the company had planned to enter the local market in June 2016.
Back then there was little information except for a posting on the business crowdfunding platform, EquityNet, which had made reference to Ozone Wireless Barbados Inc, stating that it would “rapidly deploy a full IP wireless 4G/ LTE fixed and mobile Internet services network” across Barbados.
It stated that Ozone had been awarded the necessary mobile licences “and, importantly, sufficient bandwidth in the critical 700 MHz range, and it would deploy its own infrastructure.
“With our own high-speed network and few constraints, we can disrupt the market by offering unmatched mobile Internet/data speeds, high level of network stability and connectivity, ‘all-you-can-eat’ data packages, aggressive incentives to increase the low smartphone market penetration, completely flexible choice for consumers [including] month-to-month contracts and no long-term commitment,” it promised at the time.
Also present at today’s media launch, Operations Manager Glenn Thorpe revealed that for the moment the company would operate solely in Barbados, but had not ruled out expansion to the other Caribbean territories.
“Our ambition from day one has always been to branch out from Barbados, so we have not waited and we have started to have conversations with others in the other markets in terms of where we see ourselves going. That is going to be a time consuming process and we have lots of work to do here in Barbados, which is going to be our base before we could consider launching our services elsewhere,” Thorpe said.
In addition to Cable & Wireless (Flow); Digicel (Barbados) Ltd and Ozone Communications, Sunbeach Communications Inc also holds a licence to operate here, according to the Energy and Telecommunications Division.
Flow has already said it was undaunted by the newest entrant, with the president of the company’s Caribbean operations Garfield Sinclair stating in March this year that the additional competition was an opportunity to respond even more strongly.
“Competition in and of itself is not a concern, it heightens your need to become more competitive. Clearly Ozone is going to have an impact on the market if they come in and are well run as we are expecting them to be, but it will make us more fit for purpose,” Sinclair said at the time.