• Monday, May 27, 2024
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‘Battle ground’ for telcos shifts to ‘porting’


 It is still Red Ocean marketing strategy in the Nigeria’s telecoms industry where operators have engaged in head-to-head competition in search of profitability and growth. They have literally ‘fought’ on all grounds for competitive edge.

The ‘fight’ occasioned by the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has shifted to luring consumers to switch to their respective networks, but Consumer Rights Advocacy Network of Nigeria has mounted a public campaign advising the telcos to concentrate on consumer issues.

It advised each network to play by the rules and focus on the real customer issues. These, according to it, include quality of service – network congestion and dropped calls, customer service – response to customer queries and complaints and tariffs – lower and affordable tariffs.

The recently introduced MNP allows consumers of one network to switch to another network and still retain their number.

In a public campaign, the body also advised consumers to base their switch over choice on good quality of service, saying “say no to marketing comedy which seeks to divert attention from the real issues.”

Before now, the telcos embarked on either promotional product marketing approach as a way of building brand loyalty; naira splash or car win competitions. The fight is also being fought on the battle ground of call tariff reductions and bonanza for credit card recharges made. All the telcos slashed their call rates by various percentages to keep their customers.

The reductions also affected internet access, as the GSM operators recently made about 40 percent slash in the cost of internet connection.

Lately, the monthly BlackBerry tariff was cut by about 40 percent, from N5, 000 to N3,000 by MTN, Airtel and Etisalat, while Globacom slashed internet tariff from N4,800 to N2,800.

Steve Evans, CEO of Etisalat Nigeria, had advised consumers not getting better service to take advantage of the new policy, saying “Etisalat is pleased with the MNP and the NCC decision to flag off the policy in April, because it presents telecoms subscribers in Nigeria with a chance to migrate to networks that have better service as they still have to retain their numbers.

“At Etisalat, we have been advocating for MNP and we are pleased with the NCC’s announcement of a kick-off date. MNP will empower customers and force operators to improve on quality of service. With MNP, the customers will be ultimate winner.”

The MNP commenced on April 22, this year.