Marketing Research on Mobile Number Portibility in India

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* Final Project Report

Section| Sub-Section| Topic| Page |
1| | Background| 3|
2| | Decision and research problem| 5|
3| | Areas of Information| 5|
4| | Research Methodology| 6|
5| | Findings| 8|
| 1| Observation and content analysis| 8|
| 2| Primary Research (Pilot Study)| 14|
6| | Recommendations| 25|
7| | References| 27|
8| | Appendix A- Questionnaire| 28|

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) became operational in India on 20th January 2011. Many customers , who were not satisfied with the current mobile operator but were persisting because of the Mobile number, were finally relieved.MNP presents a number of new challenges and opportunities for marketers and brand managers to maintain and garner greater share of the youth market. One of the biggest challenges for the them will be to retain the existing customers.

As per the research from The Nielsen Company, 18% of Indian mobile customers said that they would change their operator if they have the ability to retain their number.  Following is the data representing the intention to switch mobile carrier

Source: Nielson Survey
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) itself has estimated the porting rate to be at 10% in the first 15 months and 7%, 6% and 5% for the successive three years.
One of the major challenges that Mobile operator would be facing is the effect on pricing strategies. Before MNP, operators adjusted their pricing strategies to cut out the competition, but, with MNP becoming reality, pricing would not be the deciding factor. Currently one will find almost all the operator rolling out the scheme of 1 paisa per second , 50 paisa per second etc.

Mobile operators are quick to realize that the only way to solve the reducing ARPU [Average revenue per user] is to leverage on the technology, Number of smart phone user are increasing at a rapid rate. This can be corroborated by the various statistics by TRAI and other Market research reports.

Following are the statistics released by TRAI
* Overall tele-density touches 66%. Margin challenge for operator will continue as teledensity will increase * Mobile subscriber base has surpassed 752 million subscribers by Dec’10, growing at CAGR of 47% from March 2008 to December 2010 * In contrast to high growth in subscribers, the telecom industry has grown in revenue at CAGR of 17% (as of Dec’10) over the last 2 years

As the customer acquisitions from rural India are increasing, the minutes of usage per subscribers (MoU) and ARPU are falling (Q-o-Q) due to lower paying capacity and usage patterns.Marketer are quick to realize that the considering the current market scenario “Value Added services’ is the real game changer.

VAS as a means to climb up the ladder
* The teledensity in urban India is near the saturation levels. * By increasing VAS adoption of the subscribers, operators can move them up the value chain and increase the ARPU

In a nutshell MNP, initially, was seen as a game changer for the Mobile operators but because of the nature of Indian market and saturation level coming in teledensity, its affect has been minimal.

Bharti Airtel – Neutral
* Market leader in the wireless telecom segment and popular among the high spending group. * All telecom growth comes from Rural India since urban India is 95 percent penetrated already. * Now subscribers addition is no longer remain the driver for the growth as Indian urban market is mature and price competition will play the major role, which will be guided by the value added services

MNP was supposed to relieve various cell phone users to switch to other network without changing their cell number. Initially it was often perceived as war between the telecom operator to attract new cell phone users. However, since the saturation level in urban...
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