Ufone's Aggression May Take it Back to Track

Ufone’s recent most offer, called Ufone Solid Offer clearly depicts that Ufone desperately wants to get back the market share in terms of subscribers. Just Last week, we evaluated Ufone’s ratings – after which it responded so aggressively.

It may be recalled that Ufone’s Solid offer, allows Ufone subscribers to make free on net calls after first three minutes, round the clock – making almost every on-net call less than 5 rupees, regardless of its duration.

When we spoke to telecom analysts regarding this offer, they admired Ufone’s team and called it an interesting move. Majority of industry experts welcomed this offer, and said that Ufone will do well in terms of getting back the market share, revenues, retention and the brand name. However, question over ARPU didn’t go in Ufone’s favor.

We know that Etisalat’s officers, deputed in Pakistan (who apparently approved these tariffs), are quite aggressive and such an offer was not a shocker for the industry. They have done the same in the past when PTCL launched Pakistan Package. But PTCL holds entirely different business model when compared to Ufone. Such aggressive moves could be justified being at PTCL, but when we talk about Ufone, there is nothing left they can further incentivize their customers.

Better offer than Ufone’s Solid offer can only be a fixed per month rental against unlimited on-net calls – meaning that Ufone almost hit the extreme level of gamble that it could ever play.

If we evaluate, this tariff, and its outcome for Ufone, its not only the tariff that can win Ufone a fortune. If the overall attitude of the company is not changed, they should not expect much from this single deal.

Ufone has played a Gamble”, said one senior official of a cellular company. He further commented that Ufone has overshadowed all hourly call packages, night offers; mid day break offers, Telenor’s evening free minutes giveaways and what not. However, Ufone will have to play sensibly now, to regain the share and maximize ARPU to beat the competition in balance sheets too, he concluded.

Another expert was little reluctant to opine the fruitfulness of Ufone’s move. He said that this is more than what customers needed. Maybe Ufone gave an undue treat to mobile phone users, which may cost the company, he added.

Telecom experts didn’t see this offer being withdrawn very quickly, rather they were confident about Ufone’s team which needed a re-entry that they have got through this offer.

Though we don’t have exact figures of customer who have already availed this package, but it is anticipated that huge numbers have already converted, while others are following as soon as they know about the availability of this package.

Let’s wait and see what time has to decide about Ufone and its Solid Offer – share your feedback in comments.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Altaf

    The offer is interesting, the question comes, whether Ufone will be able to continue providing such rates. Because, the important question is that what will happen when they take back this offer or replace it. Will the customers who subscribed to this service remain with Ufone, or they’ll become unsatisfied and start leaving to other networks!

  • Mustafa

    Good offer but companies should avoid providing such offers as inflation is running in everything and companies also have to pay for diesel and other particulars for their towers so they should look on their move too.

    • Arslan Hussain

      You are on the right point but for every company espacially in telecom sector there is great level of oligoply so i think that ufone did well because they have lost their huge market share before but now onwards they will gain back their market share. There might be a possibility that ufone has very low average cost and the market price is very high so there is a great profit margin which ufone has sacrifised for market share and thus invested this offer as a longterm benefit for their company.

  • That is a great Office by the Ufone. But I think that the Ufone company could not provide this facility to their customers for a long time. Ufone get a lot of profit through this scheme and a lot of customers join Ufone, but if Ufone take back this offer than Ufone gain a lot of Loss..

  • K. Shahzad

    I think when Ufone came to this country, it was nearly a revolution, putting Mobilink on defense and they also had to review their tariffs.

    Now again this move will definitely not only do good for Ufone but will also force other companies to respond to it. A good try win the trust back, lets see to what extent it works.

  • K R

    In marketing people believe that 100 satisfied customers can add or bring one new customer but a single unsatisfied customer can effects 10 potential new customers. So this is the answer to the questions which were asked above.

    Ufone is acting like a sinking titanic where everyone is doing what can creates his own personal image and personal benefit. This offer is exactly the same example of personal image not the image of a corporate organization. One can say wa wa for the package creator but results will not be in the favour of organization for long run. We have examples of same practices before when ISP were in tight competition and Hungama lauched the package of Rs. 10/ h and then what was the end of that package war? The first ISP who stopped its operations because of cash flow was Hungama itself.

    Prepaid customers are always unloyal customers of any telecom as majority of them can switch to any other telco when more attractive packages will come to address their needs. There is a need of customer retention which never addressed at Ufone. Although every telco generates different welcome back campaigns but sorry to say results are always more discouraging. Question is Can any telco retain its customers for long focusing on attractive packages only??? If some marketing tycon says yes then one can feel sorry about the organization where he is working in a leading position.

    This offer can generates short term results but in long run this offer will act as iceberg for Ufone Titanic.

    • RehanB

      “Prepaid customers are always unloyal customers of any telecom as majority of them can switch to any other telco when more attractive packages will come to address their needs.”

      Mr. K R:
      Post pay users are even less than 3% of total mobile users in Pakistan…

      -Biggest players in post-pay individual users is Warid.

      -Biggest Cooperate(company which give mobile connection to their own employees) mobile users is Mobilink.

      -Mobilink was & Warid is Big player in Post-pay because mostly users ported to Warid.

      -More than 70% revenue is generated from pre-pay (either Loyal or Non-Loyal)

      -Care for Pre-pay users & only then you will be recommended for Post-pay consumer.

      -Pre-pay Users are more important than post-pay. that is why new pre-pay packages come every year. but new post pay package arrive only once in 5 years.

  • Waqas Aziz

    THIS OFFER IS VERY ATTRACTIVE FOR PREPAY USERS. BUT CAN Ufone INTRODUCE ANY SUCH OFFER FOR ITS POSTPAY CUSTOMERS AS WELL?? PLZ Ufone DO SOMETHING NEW FOR POSTPAY.

    • Zeerak Ali

      Post Pay users seem like step-childs of the telecom companies.

      • Zulkifl

        Much needed indeed…but main money engine for any telco company is its prepaid users, keeping in mind that postpaid user are less than 5% and in some cases less than 3% of total subscriber base!

        Little room for monetary gains & less competition, results in negligence of postpaid packages!

  • Rafay

    Pure marketing gimmick by ufone but the question is for how long ufone can sustain this offer? i.e. in network wise and revenue wise?

  • Mustaneer

    We all can say this time its a good prepaid package but i think its a big risk involve behind this package.
    Time will decide if its a good for company or good for ufone customers.

  • adeel

    came to know from a solid source that telenor will start charging 1paisa on each for as connectivity charges even on miss calls…………. Allah he hafiz hai in companies ka

  • bakhat khan

    Hmmm. Why can’t we in Pakistan have unlimited free on-network calls and sms? Here in Sweden all Pakistani students have pre-paid mobile connection from Comviq.se which offers unlimited free calls and sms on its own network. Ufone should have a similar offer :-)

    • Zulkifl

      Ah well we are not a welfare state nor a charity :D …and wow its a news for me regarding Sweden :)

      Now the calls cannot be free because operators have to bear some operational & service expenses, they are not operating solely by there own means! They are dependent on others too! This reason was the simplest :)

      Plus there are manyyy other factors…foreign companies invest ONLY in search of huge return…WHICH THEY WANT NO MATTER WHAT !!!

  • zaffar

    Its pretty good offer from Ufone after a long time and almost everybody is appreciating this except some above. If we see previous posts, we can clearly see people criticizing Ufone for only focusing profit and not caring about customer numbers.

    Customers honge to profit or loss ki baat ki baat hogi. If warid can survive then Ufone has much better chance to do so. Just one package can can revive the whole company. Now Ufone only need to play sensibly. As Warid used Glow, Ufone can use solid offer also.

    After the huge success of Glow, Warid increased its conversion charges(RS.10 to RS.25), FNF Addition & Deletion( from almost nill to RS.5/Number) & now 1st minute charges from (RS.2.25 to RS.2.99) but I havn’t seen a single person in my friends circle leaving Glow. So this will a way out for Ufone. Make sure people use this offer 1st & and then gradually increase the rates when they are used to it. Hope this will win back Ufone its lost customers

  • eAhmad

    Number of subscriber is directly proportional to company profit.

  • MImran

    PTCL is already offering the suggested deal to its Vfone customers. They have three packages, named as Simple, Family and Unlimited.
    In Simple package there is no line rent with a slightly high calling rates.
    But in Family one can do unlimited free on-net calls (V-V) for just Rs. 5 per day.
    In Unlimited package customer can make un-limited free calls on Vfone and also on landline for just Rs. 20 per day.
    So practically you get unlimited free calls for just Rs. 5 per day on more than 1.2 million subscribers of Vfone and unlimited free calls on Approx 5 million subs, including Vfone and PTCL landline subs for just Rs. 20 per day round the clock and 7 days a week.
    This is a matchless offer….

  • Muhammad Haris

    Hi,

    I have one confusion about this package, while using this package if i talk for just 1 min or few seconds then i would be charge for whole 3 mins or just of that respective call duration?

    Please clarify

    Thanks
    Muhammad Haris

    • Saad Akhlaq Khan

      n u wll only be charged for 1 minute as per ur package…..

  • MImran

    PTCL is already offering the suggested deal to its Vfone customers. They have three packages, named as Simple, Family and Unlimited.
    In Simple package there is no line rent with a slightly high calling rates.
    But in Family one can do unlimited free on-net calls (V-V) for just Rs. 5 per day.
    In Unlimited package customer can make un-limited free calls on Vfone and also on landline for just Rs. 20 per day.
    So practically you get unlimited free calls for just Rs. 5 per day on more than 1.2 million subscribers of Vfone and unlimited free calls on Approx 5 million subs, including Vfone and PTCL landline subs for just Rs. 20 per day round the clock and 7 days a week.
    This is a matchless offer….

  • Asif Akhtar Nizami

    Please explain ARPU?

  • This was interesting.