Sunday, November 27, 2011

Free roaming- that is real good news!!

According to news report a month back speculated that if the government had its way, then we may have a united telecom India, in its literal sense. The panel of ‘Babus’ of Department of Telecom (DoT) to make recommendations on strategic issues related to licensing matters, have recommended to the government to consider the entire country as a single service area or four separate zones instead of the existing 22 telecom circles.

At present, around 10 per cent of the revenue of telecom companies comes from roaming charges which from my information (unconfirmed) is in the range of Rs. 13000-14000/- for the whole industry. If this indeed is implemented, it would be wonderful for the customers but would bleed the already bleeding telecom companies who spend a fortune of communication through advertising. The tariff wars had subsided a reasonable bit and now you have news about the abolishing of roaming charges.

Anyway this is going to happen sooner rather than later. So how should telecom companies gear up for this monumental change? At the outset, believe in the first-mover advantage and start communicating about no roaming charges before the government announces it. This way, you would get a head-start in top-of-mind recall just the way Idea Cellular did with Mobile Number Portability (MNP). The advantage would not last long because the other players too would immediately jump in the fray with their communication. At least you had the pioneering advantage.

It would surely work for people who spend a high percentage of amounts on roaming. But the moot question is that whether abolition of roaming charges by an operator is good enough to change the operator. The answer is a resounding yes since we are seeing it in conjunction with MNP. Thus ‘free roaming’ and MNP together surely is a winner on your hands.