Thursday, February 3, 2011

VODAFONE Gains The Most as AIRTEL, BSNL, Reliance Emerge As Early Losers In MNP Race

We’ve been following the ‘churn’ from Mobile Number Portability pretty closely. BusinessLine has another article with some very interesting information about which way people have moved in Haryana. As I said in my last post on MNP, it isn’t necessary that the same trend may carry over to the rest of the country as some local factors could influence it, but the numbers are worth looking at.
We had a little table(courtesy of Informate) which reflected the percentage of dropped calls that subscribers faced across various operators. It stated that Reliance and Loop faced the highest percentage of dropped calls. The latest article has actual operator specific numbers(As of January 16th) -

BSNL had 25,ooo people opt for other providers and a net loss of over 20,000 users. Reliance GSM and CDMA combined lost over 13,500 subscribers. Tata Telservices CDMA connections took a battering too, but its GSM operations – Tata DoCoMo gained close to 10,000 subscribers. Idea lost just under 2,000 while the clear gainers are Airtel, Aircel and Vodafone.
Amazingly Vodafone saw a net increase of nearly 21,000 – twice the amount of the next gainer Aircel with 9,329. If this is any indication – it seems like the big guys didn’t have much to worry about. The article claims that initial numbers from other parts of the country are on similar lines. But we’ll wait to see actual numbers before we comment on that.
A twitter search for MNP is informative and entertaining at the same time. Operators are calling up subscribers who request porting numbers and cajoling them to stay on – some even said they were offered various discounts and schemes. Hmm..any bargain hunters getting any ideas? But on a serious note. There are others who claim that they aren’t able to migrate to another provider.

Airtel’s 3G tariffs in particular seem to be drawing a lot of ire with people talking about wanting to switch away. How many actually do is a different matter of course. There are also reports of teething issues with some of the porting codes that were generated being non functional, while the DOT said that it will be looking into such issues.
Retaining connections wasn’t so much about loyalty to a service provider as it was about keeping a phone number. Now, expect a lot of people to switch and then switch again after the 90 day period. The pressure is on telcos now to find that balance between tariffs and quality of service otherwise they are likely to see a net outflow – which is the most important figure here.

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