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Mobile Number Portability - An Advertiser's Guide


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A whitepaper covering Mobile Number Portability and what this means to the operator market in terms of advertising opportunities

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Mobile Number Portability - An Advertiser's Guide

  1. 1. MOBILE NUMBER PORTABILITY – An Advertiser’s WHITE PAPER February, 2011
  2. 2. MOBILE NUMBER An Advertiser’s Guide – PORTABILITY INTRODUCTION The latest buzzwords in the Indian telecom industry are clearly MNP and 3G. While both technolo- gies have been available in other markets around the globe for a while now, they are now just entering the Indian market and already promise to show spectacular results. This whitepaper covers MNP or Mobile Number Portability and what this means to the operator market in terms of advertis- ing opportunities. While there are other whitepapers covering the technical aspects of MNP, this whitepaper is focused on the advertising aspect that MNP brings into the picture. What is MNP? Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to retain their mobile telephone numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another. Life Before MNP Today mobile consumers find it hard to move from one network operator to another with a better plan, unless they are ready to forego their old mobile number and update all their contacts with the new number. The result is consumers often stick to one operator even if they are dissatisfied with plans or customer service. Now, with the launch of MNP, consumers can easily switch between operators offering different plans while retaining their old number. A recent survey by Aegis Consult- ing and Research shows that Indians have been waiting for this feature and have much to gain with the launch of MNP. CHURNING DESIRE Indian mobile-telephony customers are a restless lot Will you change your number once portability comes? Uninor 19.4 Airtel 47.0 MTNL 48.0 Reliance CDMA 50.4 Vodafone 51.3 BSNL 53.0 Idea 54.8 Aircel 54.8 Tata Docomo 55.9 Reliance GSM 62.1 Tata Indicom 62.8 Loop 74.2 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Figures show percentage of subscribers of the operator who said “yes” Source: Aegis Consulting & Research© 2010 InMobi. White Paper - Mobile Number Portability. An Advertiser’s Guide
  3. 3. MOBILE NUMBER An Advertiser’s Guide – PORTABILITY Competition Will Increase With the launch of this service, the mobile operator market will get more competitive in terms of plans available for users, coverage and connectivity, and customer service. In a few markets, certain operators have established a “quasi-monopoly” and have dominated the market. These dominant positions are mainly a function of time in market. In an environment without MNP where consumers have less desire to switch plans, operators can build a subscriber base over time with little risk to attrition. With the arrival of MNP, competition will increase dramatically and markets historically dominated by a single player will see increased fragmentation and churn rates. MNP in India MNP was made available to the Indian market on Jan 20, 2011. A fee of Rs.19 is charged for switching operators, but operators often waive this fee as an introductory offer. Consumers need to stay with the new operator for a minimum of 90 days before being able to shift operators again. MNP initially launched in the state of Haryana in November 2010. Reports show that in the Haryana circle a total of 150,000 customers have ported out i.e. shifted from one operator to another. Numbers Numbers Net Gain/Loss Operator Ported IN Ported Out Gain/loss Ratio Vodafone 42157 11368 30789 3.7 Airtel 23066 17229 5837 1.3 Idea 21221 23686 -2465 1.1 Aircel 16139 1590 14549 10.2 BSNL 7234 33626 -26392 4.6 Tata GSM 2374 9095 -6721 3.8 Reliance GSM 1242 12181 -10939 9.8 Videocon 1188 4004 -2816 3.4 Tata CDMA 1001 10747 -9746 10.7 Reliance CDMA 295 7934 -7639 26.9 MTS 97 888 -791 9.2 Loop 0 9 -9 Source: Multiple Plans, Not SIM Cards Another dimension of the Indian market is multiple SIM cards. One is their primary card or number and the other is the expendable SIM card. So far, the expendable cards have been prepaid cards© 2010 InMobi. White Paper - Mobile Number Portability. An Advertiser’s Guide
  4. 4. MOBILE NUMBER An Advertiser’s Guide – PORTABILITY that have been bought or trashed depending on offers available, cheaper voice calls, cheaper data plans etc. With the launch of MNP the need for multiple SIM cards is diminished. The primary SIM card can now address the issues of retaining the number while still getting the best-in-market offers. Since users can change the service provider of their primary number, the need for operators to get even more competitive increases. A report from MediaNama shows that for a user, there will now be a fairly large number of plans to choose from. The number of telecom operators operational in multiple service areas has gone up since this report was issued, so the total number of plans is probably even higher than what you see listed here. Number Of Plans Across Telcos: 31st March 2010 GSM CDMA Service Area Prepaid Postpaid Total Prepaid Postpaid Total AP 29 80 109 13 24 37 Assam 19 67 86 8 17 25 Bihar 39 46 85 11 30 41 Chennai 10 16 26 1 12 13 Delhi 33 81 114 14 32 46 Gujarat 22 49 71 14 32 46 Haryana 20 58 78 12 30 42 HP 33 49 82 9 24 33 J&K 9 55 64 8 18 26 Karnataka 26 62 88 15 30 45 Kerala 36 60 96 11 26 37 Kolkata 17 64 81 13 24 37 Maharashtra 24 61 85 13 30 43 MP& CG 28 63 91 18 29 47 Mumbai 39 95 134 16 31 47 North East 24 72 96 10 21 31 Orissa 29 67 96 13 30 43 Punjab 18 48 66 18 38 56 Rajasthan 29 52 81 11 26 37 Tamilnadu 34 62 96 10 30 40 UP (E) 32 67 99 12 33 45 UP (W) 37 64 101 9 23 32 West Bengal 32 56 88 16 35 51 Source: Medianama© 2010 InMobi. White Paper - Mobile Number Portability. An Advertiser’s Guide
  5. 5. MOBILE NUMBER An Advertiser’s Guide – PORTABILITY Operator Mobile Advertising Strategies with MNP Without MNP, operators were mainly able to target a limited audience who were getting a new number. Migration opportunity was smaller and ROI harder to achieve using any advertising approach including mobile advertising. With the launch of MNP, the entire population of mobile users are now open to every operator; hence demand for better advertising and marketing is a reality under MNP. It is evident that operators with better choices and offers will benefit from this new reality. However; MNP also presents another unique challenge to mobile service operators in India. It presents a first ever opportunity for consumers to churn en masse. It is interesting to see the variety of marketing approaches from operators in response. For example: • Idea Cellular Ltd. ran an aggressive television campaign asking people to “Get Idea”. The concept behind this was to call out the differentiators that Idea was offering. Better network coverage, plans adaptable to consumer usage, echo deletion etc. were widely advertised. • Vodafone India took a more inclusive approach by ‘welcoming everybody’. With the ‘Everybody’s welcome’ tagline, Vodafone has taken a more confident, leadership approach relying on a friendly, likeable tone to the advertising. Rather than call out the product benefits of using Vodafone, the Vodafone ads use elements that are eminently likable such as the children, the pug, and catchy music. • Tata DoCoMo went with an aggressive mobile Twitter campaign and also initiated a hashtag campaign named #switch2TataDoCoMo, which it inserted into all its tweets on MNP. A typical tweet by the company read, “If ur lookin to switch then ensure its to a #3G ready network, who believes in cool offers..aka us ;-) #Switch2TataDoCoMo #MNP”. The firm also adopted an informal tone in its replies to individual tweeters, often referring to them as “buddy” or “pal”. • The MNP wars were not restricted just to Twitter and TV ads. Tata DoCoMo, Idea and Airtel have all bought advertising space on Google that appears on the result pages on searches for either MNP or mobile number portability. Campaigns that promote operators and adoption via MNP live in the mobile realm; hence it is a must for mobile to be an integral marketing channel. Advertising on the mobile provides the highest form of relevance to the user. Second, it also provides the user a real understanding of requirements and tangible, personal understanding of what makes one network more different than another. Overlook mobile advertising and you pass by the most obvious and important channel for MNP messaging. If the concepts above are not compelling enough, another benefit remains. The greatest advantage that mobile offers operators in an MNP world is targeting capabilities on competing operator networks and specific manufacturers and handsets. With absolutely no spillage, advertisers can reach out to the exact audience they want to reach with offers to pull them into their network. This sort of targeting is not provided by any other sort of channel and is ideally suited to the needs of operators in the MNP reality that is India today.© 2010 InMobi. White Paper - Mobile Number Portability. An Advertiser’s Guide
  6. 6. MOBILE NUMBER An Advertiser’s Guide – PORTABILITY Advice on Mobile Advertising Some of the ways operators can utilize the mobile medium to run their ad campaigns are 1.Target Competitive Network a. Plain Targeting: Push your campaigns to attract customers from other networks to migrate to your network. Create awareness about your attractive tariff plans b. Survey: Understand what it would take to attract a specific category of users. Get to know what they don’t like about their network and customize a plan, which migrates them to your network c. Incentive Buying: Push discount coupons, instant gratification, additional memberships and tell them about your loyalty programs for quick registrations / enquiries to migrate to your network. If somebody registers then announce the same through their facebook page by linking online registration forms to social networks d. Handset targeting: Intercept all the 3G enabled phones in other networks and inform them about your offers to increase migration to your own network 2. Leverage your own network a. Refer a friend: Request your own subscribers to refer their friends and give instant gratifi cation like CUG calls among all friends of the user who migrates from another network to your network b. Feedback: Get to know the feedback on your network from your existing users. What they don’t like or like about your network. This will help the operator in improving services and get to the facts that can be used for brand communications. 3. Utilize Mobile Effectively a. Calls to Action: Mobile offers a wide range of calls to action such as Click to Call, Click to SMS, Click to Video etc. Spread the mobile campaign across all these actions to engage users in a wider way and hence further grow the interest b. Creative Banners: The creative banners available on mobile are far superior to the ones available on traditional media. Your campaign banners can be of different sizes to best suit the phone it is displayed on, can have animations on it, can be a full screen ad before an application loads etc. Ensure that you work all these options into your ad campaigns© 2010 InMobi. White Paper - Mobile Number Portability. An Advertiser’s Guide
  7. 7. MOBILE NUMBER An Advertiser’s Guide – PORTABILITY The World’s Largest Independent Mobile Advertising Network InMobi is the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network. With six offices on four continents InMobi provides advertisers, publishers and developers with a uniquely global solution for advertising. The network is growing fast and it now delivers the unprecedented ability to reach 194 million consumers, in over 115 countries, through more than 30 billion mobile ad impressions monthly. InMobi recently was selected as the 2010 AlwaysOn Global 250 Company to Watch in Silicon Valley. InMobi is venture-backed with marquee investors including: Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. The company has offices in London, San Francisco, Bangalore, Tokyo, Johannesburg and Singapore. To learn more, please visit, follow us on Twitter @InMobi, or read our blog at You can also email us at Asia Regional Profile: October 2010 India Market Profile: October 2010 Global View of Global View of Mobile Advertising Mobile Advertising October 2010 October 2010 Report - APAC Report - India Available Impression Volume & Composition Global  Type July October % Chg Development  Index Total    11,460,224,000    12,457,582,814 8.7% na Smartphone    1,523,003,912    2,241,896,823 47.2% 66 Advanced    9,937,220,088    10,215,685,991 2.8% 113 MOBILE IS MY ADDICTION; CRICKET IS MY RELIGION WHITE PAPER To download these reports, visit© 2010 InMobi. White Paper - Mobile Number Portability. An Advertiser’s Guide