Russian tourists began to massively discover technology this winter e–SIM< /strong>: sales of mobile Internet packages abroad grew 10 times over the year. The leader now is Thailand: here with e–SIM connection will cost 6-8 times cheaper than roaming. We are talking about how you can save money on the Internet abroad with Sergey Stavropoltsev, CEO of the company Telwel.io.
– Sergey, how many countries can now use mobile internet with e–SIM technology? What's new for the year from popular countries?
– In the first year, our e-SIM mobile internet service coverage has increased from 100 to over 180 countries, with several package options for the most popular of them.
This summer we added such interesting tourist destinations as Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives, Dominican Republic, Bali and all of Indonesia, the Philippines.
– How much has Telwel< /strong> number of users? Have the Russians tried the e–SIM technology?
– Definitely, yes. Tourists tried out such a way to save on mobile Internet abroad as e-SIM and began to count money more carefully.
Judge for yourself: in November, the volume of e-SIM package connections increased 10 times compared to January. Of course, the fastest way is to use your operator's roaming. But if you spend only 3-4 minutes, you can compare our prices and roaming ones. Many people already know about e-SIM. You can read more about this way to save money here and here.
The following fact, for example, speaks of the interest in convenient mobile Internet technology abroad: since the beginning of the year, our average check has grown significantly. Not because prices have risen – they are the same. But because users began to buy packages of larger capacity.
Sergey Stavropoltsev, CEO of Telwel.io
– Are there any statistics on what mobile Internet packages are on e–< strong>SIM do Russians choose this winter?
– If we take November and December, then 5% of our clients connect 20 GB packages, about half take popular 10 GB packages – mainly Turkey and European countries. Despite the difficulties and the end of the season, Internet packages to these regions remain very popular.
By the way, the number of one-day packages in Turkey has increased dramatically. We attribute this to the fact that many tourists use Istanbul as a transfer point on their way to third countries, and you always want to be in touch.
The largest share – about 30% – is made up of purchases of mobile Internet packages in Thailand (15 GB). The remaining 15% take other packages (1,2,3,5,6 GB). But among this part, the lion's share is occupied by the Asia PRO package (6 GB).
– Interestingly, it turns out that a third of your customers choose to vacation in Thailand this winter? But Thailand is still inferior to both the UAE and Egypt in terms of tourist traffic. What's the matter here?
– Yes, if you break down connections by country, then Thailand is in the lead. If a couple of months ago packages with mobile Internet in Thailand occupied a share of 3-4%, then in November Thailand was already in first place – more than 30% of all sales.
As for your question about Thailand's leadership…. We believe that the point here is not the country's share in the tourist flow, but a very attractive communication tariff.
Until mid-January, we increased the capacity of the mobile internet package on e-SIM in Thailand: buying 8 GB, you get 15 GB. And our technology partner has increased the validity of the package from 8 to 15 days. Such a package – 15 GB for 15 days in Thailand – Telwel costs 1000 rubles.
If we compare roaming rates in Thailand with mobile operators and e-SIM rates, the savings in the latter case are enormous.
We consider: on average, the price of roaming from Russian mobile operators is from 450 to 600 rubles. in a day. As a rule, they give you 1 GB per day (fast Internet, then the speed drops to 128 kbps). Accordingly, mobile Internet (14 GB) for these two weeks of rest will cost one tourist in Thailand in the amount of 6300-8400 rubles, and for a month – 12 600-16 800 rubles.
Opening the calculator, it is easy to calculate that the savings of mobile Internet on e-SIM compared to roaming of mobile operators is 6-8 times.
– Speaking of Telwel's other popular mobile Internet tariffs for e-SIM this winter, which will be in the top 5?
– The second place in terms of the number of sales belongs to the combined package “Asia PRO” (34 countries). It includes almost all popular Asian countries – from Israel to Indonesia. (UAE is not included in this package). It is bought, as a rule, by those who want to move between different countries, those who travel, for example, with a connection to Bali via Istanbul, Dubai or Doha, tourists with combined tours, such as Malaysia + Indonesia, etc. But there are those , to whom it is convenient in any one country in Asia. With this package, we give 6 GB for 8 days for less than 1500 rubles.
The third place is shared by individual packages of mobile Internet in Egypt and the UAE, the fourth – by individual packages for Turkey (a variety of packages of 1-10 GB from 400 rubles per month, and for those who also travel and work – a package of fast Internet for 20 GB up to 3700 rubles for 30 days). And in fifth place is Europe in various combined tariffs, as a rule, in the Global tariff.
– Remind me how a tourist can generally understand the required package size? Let's say 1 GB is a lot or a little?
– Everything is quite simple. 15 GB, if we are talking about the most popular Thai tariff now, is the volume of voice traffic that is practically “unpronounceable” through instant messengers (about 600 hours), this is downloading several films in HD quality, etc.
And it is very important that we can share this traffic freely and without restrictions by opening an access point on your smartphone. Even if you are traveling together for a month and you have to buy a package, then for 30GB for a month for two people in roaming you can spend only 2000 rubles, or just a little more than 30 rubles per day for the Internet.
I want to remind you once again that our user traffic specialists have calculated how much roaming mobile Internet is needed for various typical expenses of an average tourist.
• Call via WhatsApp or another voice messenger: 1 GB of mobile Internet is enough for 40-45 hours of communication;
• Average use of the Internet (browsing text sites with light pictures, news) – 5 Mb per hour;
• Receiving and sending emails with attachments – 500 Kb per 1 letter;
• Upload/download photos via social network – 800 KB per image on average;
• Watch online video – 2 MB per minute, 1 GB is enough for 500 minutes;
• Upload full-length movie per device – average 2 GB per movie;
• Online games – 15-20MB per hour;
• Listening to online radio, online audiobooks with an average stream speed of 128 Kbps – 56 MB per hour or 1.3 GB per day with continuous listening
We see from the traffic of our clients that there are three types of tourists. 1-3 GB of Internet for the whole vacation.
Others, who are more dense in social networks, often watching short videos on Telegram, talking with family and friends via instant messengers, 5 GB is enough.
Third people who want to upload vacation photos and videos and watch movies unlimitedly, for 10 days it will be optimal to spend 10-15 GB.
– Do you see a surge in sales from “winterers” in winter? Has this trend returned?
– Yes, the fashion for “wintering” in warm countries is returning along with the removal of covid restrictions in warm countries. Now, on the eve of holidays, and in other cases just to survive the winter in warm countries, many of our citizens are going on a journey and have already booked tours or booked hotels or apartments abroad.
In terms of their sales, this is a lot of repeat sales. A third of users constantly renew their mobile Internet packages, and almost all renewals are in warm countries.
This is not surprising in principle – based on the above calculations, it is much more profitable than keeping the phone in roaming. At the same time, these are clearly not the “relocators” that we observed in March and September – they did not use our mobile Internet for long and, as a rule, took small packages, and then simply bought a local SIM card.
< strong>– Remind readers once again how to start saving on mobile Internet abroad using e-SIM?
– Where to start ? First, make sure that you or your loved ones with whom you will be traveling have an e-SIM-enabled phone. Visit our website telwel.io or install the Telwel app for iPhone and register with your email address. By the way, it is possible that the application for Android will be by the New Year
Next, select a country or an Internet package with several countries, pay for it. Telwel is a Russian company. And we accept payments from cards of all Russian banks in rubles, despite the fact that prices on the site are indicated in euros. After payment, the e-SIM will be delivered to your phone within a couple of seconds.
That's it. No contracts, no commissions and obligations, nothing to wait. It remains only to install an electronic virtual SIM card in the phone and set up the Internet on it. It's fast and easy. I have already told many details in this review.
The SIM card in the host country will automatically start to catch the network of the local operator and connect to its network. It is convenient to view the rest of traffic and days in your personal account. After the end of the traffic, the SIM card should be removed from the phone. If you need to purchase a new package, extend the connection, you can do this anywhere in the world – again, in rubles and from a Russian card, you do not need to have a foreign bank card.
– you competitors in the Russian market? And what? Or is it a secret?
– Not a secret at all. Our “feature” is both in the assortment and in the ability to pay for communication from anywhere in the world with Russian cards in rubles.
Now, among specialized technology companies, only we and some banks that have MVNO operators have such an opportunity their e-SIM services. But we believe that on average they are more expensive, although not by much, simply due to the large additional costs. We buy foreign mobile traffic with banks and operators from the same global suppliers.
As for the once popular “tourist SIM-cards” in ordinary plastic, we do not see them as competitors, it is enough just to compare mobile Internet tariffs on their sites with ours. Plus, the “physical” SIM card still needs to be ordered and delivered. And this is the time.
In general, if you have already bought or are going to buy a tour, then after insurance – immediately to us, to the Telwel website. And – Happy New Year to all readers and future customers!
Interviewed by: ATOR Bulletin