Editorial: The true value of numbers (2)

Editorial: The true value of numbers (2)

17 Feb

If someone mentions “Let’s talk numbers”, it literally means “let’s talk money”. The lowest cost for a consumer to have a prepaid mobile telephone number “alive” in an African country is a minimal balance credit of one Dollar. But what is the true value?

The average revenue for a service provider for this prepaid mobile number is three Dollars a month. This means that 600 million prepaid numbers in Africa multiply to an already impressive 21.600.000.000 Dollar market yearly. The traditional telco service providers are really happy to provide the voice and data services for the above reason. But imagine now that you receive your monthly salary on your phone number that is working for you as a bank account and you can spent it at retailers just like you are spending your normal cash money. Suddenly the value multiplies at least twenty times to a staggering 432.000.000.000 Dollar market. The value increases even more if you add up functions like mobile identity, credit rating, geographical services and so on. All these functionalities are on the brink of being used for security, access, purchasing power, micro credits and micro payments. Result: The market cannot be described anymore in Dollars.

So my answer to the question, what is the true value of a number would read ; I don’t know, but it is huge and it is waiting out there for you to grab it by the number…

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