I am sure you have heard this phrase often – “Arre yaar mujhe missed call de de sirf” – Missed call phenomenon is rampant in India and it is for a reason. It helps millions of people in India communicate for free.
It is also something that Telecom Operators probably hate the most. Users using missed call feature, use up quite a bit of network bandwidth, yet operators are unable to make a single penny out of it and they cannot do anything about it.
It is reasons like these that India has lowest ARPU’s in the world. The call rates are so low, that it is nearly impossible for operators to lower any further. Competing on call rates is now thing of past – Mobile VAS is in thing. Every operator is coming up with a unique VAS service to entice users.
Unlike most countries, India has 95% prepaid subscribers, where mobile subscribers recharge their mobile very frequently. There are mobile recharge available as low as Rs. 10 (approx. 20 cents), where a user can make about 10 -15 calls and receive calls as well.
The downside of these low denomination recharges – you are caught stranded when you have no balance in your account. No outgoing calls or SMSes are possible.
Now, Airtel’s new innovative “Call me Back” service is planning to capitalize exactly on this issue. Even when out of balance, Airtel prepaid customers can now send an emergency ‘call me back’ SMS alert to a friend, This is possible even when the customer has no balance, and is unable to even make a ‘missed call’.
To avail this, Customers simply need to dial *141#. This service allows an Airtel prepaid mobile customer to send upto 5 call me back SMS alerts per month to other Airtel customers absolutely free of cost.
Additionally, Airtel has also launched a “Gifting Service” where subscribers on the Airtel network can send and receive talk time to each other and even give away mobile services’ gift packs anytime.
Both these services can really be a boon to Airtel pre-paid users when you are stuck with zero balance and want urgently make a call or send a sms! This is an useful service and I am sure other mobile operators will follow suite as well!
what do you think?