The world is shifting: earlier from desktops to the laptops and now to the mobiles. Keeping in sync with this trend, the mobile operators are leaving no stone unturned to lure customers. What better opportunity than the festive season of Diwali to launch new offers and make a splash!
Vodafone makes the first move..
Just a fortnight after increasing rates, Vodafone has announced a massive 80% price cut in charges for its Mobile Internet customers across the country. This rate is applicable from November 1, 2013 for all pre-paid and post-paid customers on 2G on a ‘Pay as you Go’ basis.
Post the successful pilot launch in 3 circles – Karnataka, UP West and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, in mid-June, this attractive and lowest mobile internet charge is now being rolled out Pan India.
The rate cut from 10p/10KB to 2p/10KB will make the Internet more affordable for customers who use mobile internet in a limited way. These new rates, which are the same for both 2G and 3G, are the lowest in market, making them extremely attractive for all customers across the country.
Additionally, when a Mobile Internet customer roams anywhere in India on Vodafone, he/she is charged like home rates for Mobile Internet.
As part of its strategy to democratize data, Vodafone has been hand holding customers to use mobile internet and educating current and potential users about how internet can add significant value to them. The company is also building content partnerships, simplifying pricing, educating retailers and offering choice to customer basis their interests and consumption patterns.
Mobile Internet Growth
There has been a remarkable 73% increase for Airtel, India’s largest telecom operator, in MB/user as per its 2nd quarter results, a detailed analysis which can be read here. And this is just the beginning.
With cheaper internet enabled handsets replacing the basic phone, mobile internet usage is expected to rise multifold in coming years. While other telcos like Airtel are giving packages like 25% discount for Rs 449 for 3G on 2GB and Idea offering internet at 10ps/KB, Vodafone’s smart move has come at the right time.
This would literally force the first-timers to experiment with internet as they don’t have to shell out a lump sum amount, but just pay in tit-bits as they use it. There would be a huge increase in the curve for them. For the first time, no differentiation has been done for 2G and 3G users!
Telcos are known to revise rates at their own will. So don’t be surprised if the plans change after couple of months. It could very well be a short term ploy to attract more users to mobile internet fold. Having said that, mobile internet growth is the next frontier and I would not be surprised other telcos also joining the tariff war, just like it happened with voice call rates over the years. Whatever happens, the consumer will benefit!