The lethargic Government of India finally launched the long awaited Mobile Number portability – MNP. To get a sense of the ground realities, we visited the stores of Vodafone, Airtel, Idea, Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Tata Docomo to compare the schemes currently on offer, for postpaid customers.
We restricted our study to postpaid schemes, as we believe this segment would be more sensitive to MNP and their revenue share is over 25% for operators.
Vodafone is currently offering its existing subscribers a rental fee (INR 249 per month) waiver for two months, together with new plans. It is offering a plan with rental fee of INR 249 per month and free talk time of 12,000 seconds (200 minutes of local/domestic long distance).
Bharti Airtel is offering a plan with rental fee of INR 249 and 15,000 seconds free talk time (250 minutes of local/domestic long distance). Airtel is waiving off activation fee, SIM card charges as well as porting fees of INR 19.
Idea Cellular is offering the most competitive plan in Mumbai for postpaid customers. It is currently offering 400 minutes free talk time for local calls, 200 minutes free talk time for domestic long distance calls for a monthly commitment of INR 179. Idea, though, is charging porting fees of INR 19 and activation fee of INR 99.
In a survey of 300 respondents, majority use Vodafone (60%), followed by Airtel (22%), Loop Telecom (6%), and RCOM (6%). Around 55% of the survey respondents indicated that they would switch service providers post MNP.
Corporates and MNP: Corporates indicated that they manage to get best pricing from their service providers and, hence, don’t think tariff is a differentiator. Corporates indicated that there was no price lock-in with their service provider and tariffs get revised whenever there is any discount offered in the market. Corporates would be using two service providers as quality of network differs depending on the locality.
Corporate customers believe that MNP will not influence their decision for choosing a service provider; they, however, expect attractive schemes as far as 3G services are concerned. Within 3G services, it is mainly internet access which corporate customers believe will be of interest.
Reasons for the Switch – 37% Poor Quality of Network, 25% High Tariffs and 14% indicated extremely poor customer care [ Corporates, please wake up, consumer have started demanding customer care]. Stay tuned for more updates.