New Research from TCL Finds that Promotions Aimed at the Prepaid Market are More Common and Account for 68 per cent of All Promotions

20 Jan 2011 • by Natalie Aster

Mobile promotions are being used by operators in both emerging and developing markets with PrePay promotions still being the most common with more aim now being given to promotions for Mobile Broadband and Smartphone devices worldwide.

LONDON - Tariff Consultancy Ltd (TCL) assesses the importance of mobile promotions worldwide in a unique study published today. Called Pricing Promotions by Mobile Operators Worldwide – 2011 the new report evaluates the mobile promotions 150 operators in 80 countries worldwide and includes details of just under 300 mobile promotions in total.

The report finds that the Pre Pay customer segment accounts for 68 per cent of all promotions TCL surveyed with the most common type being a Top Up bonus. A recharge bonus can vary from 10 per cent to 100 per cent in addition to the customer value of the top followed by discounted calls. A wide range of promotional call discounts are available including free calls for an hour after a 2 or 3 minutes charged at the standard rate as well as discounts to selected international destinations.

For the Pay Monthly customer segment mobile promotions are often being tied into an existing loyalty programme, with both smartphone and USB modem devices being offered at a discounted or free price for a promotional period in return for the customer committing to a long term contract. The most common promotion for Pay Monthly services is a discount in monthly rental with operators experimenting with free rental periods – from 1 to 3 months – and discounts at up to 50 per cent - for up to a 12-month period.

“Mobile promotions are a critical tool in the operators’ armoury to attract new customers and also to bring dormant SIM cards back into use,” says Margrit Sessions, Managing Director of TCL. “The average duration of the mobile promotion is also being extended, with our research showing an average of 35 days – with promotions running for as little as one day or as long as 90 days – or even for an indefinite period depending on demand,” added Sessions.

For many countries, mobile promotions have now become a permanent feature of the telecoms landscape. In the developing markets of India and Pakistan a wide range of mobile promotion call discounts are available with the focus on stimulating off-peak usage and on-net calling within friends and family to favourite on-net numbers at very low rates. In Africa and South America operators are developing SMS-based lottery promotions to encourage users to Top Up their accounts more frequently with the incentive being to win large prizes – such as cash, a car or simply more airtime.

One new development is the use of mobile promotions to stimulate the take up of smartphones for the mobile internet and USB modems for Mobile Broadband. Across the world operators are seeking to raise their ARPU by encouraging the use of data services. Pre Pay data services are also being introduced into the market with one operator in the report offering preloaded data – of 2.5GB - on a USB modem (the modem is free if the user takes the initial 2.5GB allowance).

Mobile Broadband price promotions are mainly associated with Pay Monthly services with the most common promotion being either a discount in the monthly fee (of up to 50 per cent) or a free rental period (which ranges from a 1-month period to a 6-month period).

Additionally with the deployment of new 3G networks in Turkey and South America operators are offering promotions for new Pre Pay Mobile Broadband customers, with reduced purchase costs or bonus recharge amounts.

Although European operators do focus on Pay Monthly price reductions as their main promotional activity, Pre Pay mobile promotions are being used in Europe and other developed markets as incumbent mobile operators use short term campaigns to build network traffic and avoid the high cost of handset subsidy. Mobile promotions are a useful way of stimulating short term new network traffic and Pre Pay users onto a network without the operator incurring a high cost of price reductions for existing users or for handset subsidy.

Report Details:

Pricing Promotions by Mobile Operators Worldwide – 2011

Published: January 2010
Pages: 110
Price: USD 1,995.00

More information can be found in the report Pricing Promotions by Mobile Operators Worldwide – 2011 by Tariff Consultancy Ltd (TCL)

To order the report or ask for sample pages contact


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