Telecom companies like Vodafone, Idea, Tata Tele roll out cheaper plans for festive season
It seems this October is festival season in India and local telecom companies are using the occasion to launch an all-out data price war aimed at grabbing more subscribers. The cost of Indian data plans are dropping across the board. Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, MTS, Vodafone and Idea Cellular are all rolling out lower-priced data plans bundled with a host of goodies for the occasion. Some operators, such as Reliance are doubling down on the data and offering zero rated use of Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.
Bundling of OTT services has become quite the trend in APAC and other emerging markets. In India, operator marketing departments have been working overtime in their drive to expand the local data market. OTT bundling and music streaming services are just a taste of the new innovations being seen in the market (see Wynk from Bharti here).
Apparently mobile data is having an impact in the Indian market. It would seem that it is not coincidental that Google chose to launch its Android one platform in India last month (details here). These types of initiatives will lower dramatically smart device costs and combined with aggressive data pricing plans from operators, will inevitably have the desired impact. As noted in the article, it seems the conversation with subscribers has already shifted from voice to data.
- Analysts say that making data central to the plans compels consumers to use it as it is the primary service for which the plan has been purchased. These offers are part of telecom operators’ strategy to increase the contribution from data to their overall revenue. Compared with voice, data is a higher revenue margin business and is expected to lead telecom operators’ growth through 3G and 4G.
- Among telcos, it is the smaller operators who are more aggressive with discounts, as they aim capture new consumers and make a shift in consumer profile compared with incumbents.