Opera has launched an innovative mobile-based service called the Opera Web Pass, which is aimed at mobile web users especially coming from emerging markets. The new offer breaks the traditional business model where companies usually charge per MB data consumed by the user.
Opera Web Pass lets the users browse the web on ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis through the Opera Mini browser giving them the choice of websites they can visit and the option of paying only for accessing those websites. For example, users get customized access for limited time to Facebook or Google+ (say $0.50/day for accessing either one) or unlimited web browsing for $1/day. This could be a new avatar of the sachet-pricing, which targets people who use mobile internet to visit only specific sites. It is also a more user-friendly solution for customers who are drowned in the sea of per MB data plans around them.
Another advantage of the service is that Opera uses data optimization technology that let users load more pages while consuming less data, thus making the whole process more cost effective. Opera is very optimistic with this solution especially for developing markets where people look for cheap and simple one-click solutions.
As for payment options, the service supports third-party billing, which makes it more scalable and cost-effective when deployed by any carrier that plans to sell its Internet services to infrequent users. A case in point is the Malaysian operator DiGi which has deployed this solution.
Who knows, tomorrow’s traditional ISPs, IPTV players, etc. could also roll out similar solutions. After all, it is a win-win situation for all the parties involved. Would you prefer such customized access to your favorite sites?