Brand opportunities: A study on Impact of Mobile Number Portability on Telecom Brands. Abstract
Manoharan*, Sumeet, Tejdeeep Julian
* Asst. Prof, IFIM B school, Electronic city, Bangalore **, *** Students, IFIM B school, Electronic city, Bangalore
Mobile Number Portability (MNP), a technology enrolled by TRAI under which one can change his/her mobile service provider without needing to change the mobile number, not like the old times when the number had to go with the service provider. The focus of this paper will be primarily to understand the impact of the technology on mobile phone subscribers and service providers and thereby get some insight into what would be its impact on the Telecom warfare across the nation. Mobile subscribers finally have the freedom to switch the operators according to their needs without losing their mobile number which has very much become an identity. So with a free market, who is gaining and who is losing out? Which is the most preferred network among mobile subscribers? The decision to switch to a new operator depends on the general perception about the brand and thus these numbers reflect the brand perception of mobile users. Though Airtel is the number one mobile service provider in India but Vodafone has established itself as a distinct brand with the help of its innovative communication strategy. According to a survey conducted by Teleguru, Network coverage and tariff rates emerged as the top 2 reasons as to why respondents want to avail of MNP while retaining their number. We will also have a deeper insight into the reasons like the impact of advertisement and others on MNP. It is worth noting that the new entrants in the Indian telecom space have been able to gain as much as 14% of the total subscriber pie (as stated by TRAI) by 2010. So, with the pace that the new entrants are moving, it is clearly visible that MNP can give a new lease of life to them. Till now it seems visible that another user paradigm awaits the Indian telecom diaspora with MNP making a niche for itself. With the help of secondary data and substantial primary data, the researchers will try to have a look into the gainers and the losers in the mobile portability war. For the purpose of the research a judgmental & convenient sampling technique will be adopted and a sample size of 200 will be considered for the study with electronic city, Bangalore being the target area for the study.
According to the latest figures revealed by TRAI more than 17.11 lakh1 mobile subscribers across India submitted their requests for switching to other mobile service provider in MNP regime. Mobile Number Portability became a reality across India since 20h Jan 2011 except for Haryana which was the first circle to witness MNP on 25th Nov 2010. Haryana circle registered 2.29 lakhs requests while rest of the country, in Zone-I (Northern & Western Region) maximum number of requests have been received in Gujarat (1.67 lakhs) followed by Rajasthan (1.44 lakhs) whereas in MNP Zone-II (Southern & Eastern Region) maximum number of requests have been received in Karnataka (1.16 lakh) followed by Tamilnadu service area (1.14 lakh). But this data pertains to number of requests only not the actual ported in and ported out which is actually much lesser than that as all requests are not processed because of range of reasons. Recently teleguru shared exclusive data of port-in MNP customers, where Vodafone was leading among all operators. MNP has not been a smooth sailing for all customers as telecom operators are playing tricks to avoid losing customers to competitors. TRAI has been monitoring the implementation of MNP in the country and it has instructed the providers to strictly comply with the provisions of MNP Regulations. TRAI has noted that certain port-in requests were rejected by the service providers and major reasons for rejections are due to incorrect Unique...
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