Uninor the leading telecom operator in UP east circle is the subsidiary of Telenor a Norwegian- mobile communications group the 6th largest telecom operator in the world. In India, Uninor operates in six telecom circles of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa, and Bihar and Jharkhand, UP East and UP West. It has a subscriber base of 33.9 million with annual revenues of Rs.33.9 billion in 2013. Very soon it will offers in service in the Assam circle. Currently it is the sixth largest operator in its circles.
Uninor’s has positioned itself as “Sabse sasta” choice for subscribers. “Sabse sasta” means cheapest or most affordable and it reflects in Uninor’s charges on all basic services. Uninor offers “Sabse sasta” GSM mobile voice and internet services to its subscribers. The positioning has helped the company to breakeven in all its 6 circles within a span of 4 years. Uninor has also embraced Telenor’s philosophy “Internet for All” by offering inexpensive and appropriate internet services for subscribers.
Uninor has moved from “unit or volume based offerings” to “service based offerings” like Facebook and Whatsapp. The latest offering to subscribers are Sabse Sasta Facebook and Sabse Sasta Whatsapp . Sabse Sasta Facebook is available for 50 paisa per hour while Sabse Sasta Whatsapp is available at Rs. 1 per day. Through such offerings the company expects to earn 80% more data revenues for the year 2014. Also the data penetration may increase to 50% from the current 25% of active users.
Other innovative offers are “Call Katega muft call milega” where if the Uninor network drops a call the subscriber will be immediately rewarded with a free call. “Rocket Recharge” is an offer that recommends the best plan to the subscriber based on customer life cycle intelligence. Subscribers can recharge while moving around the town in the auto-rickshaw using “Auto-Recharge”. For this Uninor has roped in auto-rickshaw drivers to offer their services and have trained them on the various plans recharge and form filling process. This has been extended to include newspaper vendors and milkmen.
Uninor follows a three pillar strategy of mass market distribution, low cost operations and best in basic services. To improve its voice and data capacity by around 20 to 25 percent the company bought extra spectrum in the 1800 MHz band at a cost of Rs. 8,447 million in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, UP East UP West, and Assam circles. The new Assam circle can add 30 million customers to Uninor’s subscriber base. The company will expand its network by 30% (5000 sites) in the existing 6 circles to attract new subscribers into its fold.
Uninor will focus on getting rural subscribers on-board to gain market share in its telecom circles. To capture the rural markets the company has come up with a new concept of micro-distributors and Express Stores. Micro-distributors are all in one distributor, retail executive and activation officer who will sell Uninor’s SIMs and offers.
Whereas Express Stores are affordable small format franchisee shops which take seven to ten days to set up. These stores will sell new connections and recharge plans and address all queries from subscribers. Currently there are 1828 distributors and 879 Express Stores in its circles. This gives Uninor the “ability to serve every second Indian” in its six circles which account for a population of 600 million and reach the goal of becoming the fourth largest telecom operator in its circles.
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