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Etisalat offers new SIM in response to Virgin Mobile

Prepaid service targets youths between 15-29 years old

Image Credit: Supplied
SWYP by Etisalat
Gulf News

Dubai: Etisalat is offering a new SIM — Swyp, targeting youths and in response to the launch of Virgin Mobile by du.

The Abu Dhabi-based telecom operator hasn’t officially launched the prepaid mobile telecommunications service but the apps have been loaded on to the Google and Apple play stores.

The telecom operators had launched VoIP cards and SIMs targeting blue-collar workers in the UAE but this is for the millennials.

“To be eligible for the service the customer must be aged 15-29 years old at the time of subscribing for the service and must be able to present a valid Emirates ID Card. Provided that the customer subscribes for the service before the age of 30, the sustomer is entitled to continue receiving the service after this date as an alumni swyp member,” the Swyp website said.

Etisalat has posted ads on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.

The basic plan offers 5GB of social data for Dhs50 per month but users can buy add-on packages such as 500MB data for Dh25, 1GB data for Dh50, 2GB data for Dh100, 4GB data for Dh150, 1GB Instagram and Snapchat package for Dh12.

An industry expert said that the operators are luring youths to make more revenues with data usage rather than calls and SMS. The telcos globally are seeing a reduction in calls and SMS due to the growth of WhatsApp and other social apps.

The website said that customers with an existing mobile prepaid or mobile post-paid account in the customer’s name with Etisalat or another UAE telecommunications network operator and transfer their existing mobile number to a Swyp account including, where applicable, in accordance with the current mobile number portability process.

Etisalat will deliver the Swyp SIM to millennials or they can collect it from one of etisalat stores at Dubai Mall, Downtown, Burj Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Burjuman, City Centre Deira, Festival, City Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall and Mercato Shopping Mall.

The new mobile service has a focus on data over calls and also offers discounts to customers at a number of outlets across the UAE and free Swyp WiFi Hotspots.

The SIM card charges 0.6 fils per second for local calls, 18 fils per local SMS, 60 fils per international SMS, 45 fils per local MMS of 50KB and Dh1.80 for international MMS of 50KB.

Virgin Mobile, which launched its service recently, is also targeting the youths with its app-based service. Its cheapest package begins at Dh79 for 50 minutes and 1GB data (plus 1GB free for 90 days).