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The Long Tail in microtelecom – Enhancing lives through mobile communication 8 Aug, 2008

With his article “The Long Tail,” in the October 2004 issue of Wired, writer Chris Anderson popularized the idea of the “long tail” in explaining why online retailers such as Amazon.com, Netflix etc. are uniquely positioned to fill a huge demand that traditional retailers cannot serve cost-effectively.

Sites like these try to market more obscure products to a large number of customers, realizing profits in doing so.

This same concept can impact the business models of mobile operators as they also face a similar market curve (see figure below).

Long Tail market curve

Until now, operators haven’t offered mobile services to villages because it has been impossible to do it profitably.

The reason for excluding the “Long Tail” from mobile services is simply because of the threshold of viability – explained in the figure below:

Threshold of viability

By adjusting the cost base, we have been successful in driving down the threshold of viability to $3. Now, with the advent of WorldGSM™, it is possible to connect the unconnected long tail – and help to improve the lives of billions of people around the world.

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