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T-Mobile, Univision Woo Hispanic Smartphone Users

T-Mobile, Univision Woo Hispanic Smartphone Users
By Jennifer LeClaire

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Just as T-Mobile is teaming up with Univision to target Hispanic smartphone users, other wireless companies like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are also offering services geared to Hispanics. The Hispanic market is large and growing, and marketers like those at T-Mobile and Univision are finding that it needs its own spin, said technology analyst Jeff Kagan.
 



Taking a page from Jennifer Lopez’s Viva Movil brand that’s targeting the Hispanic market through a partnership with Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile is tag teaming with Univision Communications to launch a wireless service that will woo the same demographic.

Dubbed Univision Mobile, the new service blends Univision’s programming content with T-Mobile’s wireless platform. The new brand will start rolling out May 19 and promises affordable, flexible wireless services for a lucrative market niche.

"Univision Mobile's services and features have been created to satisfy the needs of the U.S. Hispanic community," said Kevin Conroy, president of Digital & Enterprise Development at Univision. Univision Mobile offers Hispanics tailor-made content, events and apps.

Hispanic Buying Power

By Univision’s count, Hispanic Americans are among the fastest growing groups in the U.S. with a population of nearly 56 million. According to Nielsen, 72 percent of Latinos own smartphones, which is about 10 percentage points higher than the general U.S. population.

T-Mobile’s motives are clear -- to tap into Hispanic spending power. Nielsen reports U.S. Hispanics collectively have an impressive buying power of $1.2 trillion. With 49 percent of Latinos telling Nielsen they plan to replace or upgrade smartphones within the next six months, T-Mobile smells profits.

"Hispanic Americans are among the largest, most important and most influential groups in the U.S. today," said Mike Sievert, Chief Marketing Officer for T-Mobile. "And they deserve wireless tailored to their interests and needs.”

What’s So Different?

So what does Sievert mean by “tailored to their interests and needs"? It begins with unlimited nationwide talk and text plans at $30 per month. Hispanic consumers can get unlimited nationwide talk, text, and Web plans starting at $45 per month, which includes up to 2.5GB of high-speed data.

There’s not much new there, but here’s something different: With the international calling needs of Hispanic consumers in mind, Univision Mobile plans to offer unlimited international texting from the U.S. to select Latin American countries and 200-plus countries and destinations around the world. It also plans to offer 100 minutes of calling to mobile or landline numbers from the U.S. to eight Latin American countries, including Mexico.

Univision Mobile also offers ringtones and wallpapers, sneak peaks of new Univision shows and premieres, opportunities for behind-the-scenes VIP access to Univision events and television/radio personalities, a Univision Mobile "portal,” access to news, sports, and entertainment, as well as Univision apps, including UVideos and Uforia.

A Win-Win

We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his take on the new partnership. He told us U.S. Hispanics are an important and growing segment of the wireless industry.

“We have seen other wireless companies like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint move in this direction as well over the last few years,” Kagan said. “The Hispanic market is large and growing, and marketers are finding that it needs its own spin.”

As the exclusive national retailer, Walmart will offer Univision Mobile in about 1,800 stores. The retailer said more than 16 million Hispanics shop in their stores weekly. The service will also be available at 6,000 independent dealer locations serving Hispanic communities throughout the country.

“This partnership is similar to what T-Mobile does with Walmart on the Walmart brand of wireless phones,” Kagan said. “This will help T-Mobile as they continue to repair and build. This will help Walmart reach a segment of their growing marketplace. This seems to be a win-win situation for Walmart, T-Mobile, and their mutual customers.”
 

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