Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Docomo all were in party mood. While buying sim cards, customers’ prima focus would be on enquiring about SMS packs available with a carrier; which would eventually determine the sim card which would get sold. Operators’ advertisements (be it print or social) were more of a pitch to sell SMS packs rather than sim cards; which they thought would eventually be sold on the backdrop of lucrative SMS schemes. Not anymore. It’s OTT time (and they are certainly playing over the top!!). Communication apps have hit the market. They have replaced the SMS service at a speed faster than with which a person replaces empty refill of his pen. It has changed the way people see world around them; acted as an ignition engine to fuel the expectations of the customers. They have played smart by utilizing two of the most pertinent global trends to their advantage: Increase in internet accessibility and usage
Proliferation of smart devices
WhatsApp, the first major application to enter this space is leading this revolution. They have got it all: file sharing, media sharing, voice, message, group chats. They have been able to make a dent into the market as most of these apps are provided free of cost for a period of minimum 1 year. Using this app for an year, gives customers a taste of its most powerful features and by the time this honeymoon period ends it easily attains the status of “Alladin Ka Chirag” for them. This is where these apps charge subscription costs for continuation of service. A good revenue generation model indeed! All one needs is a smart device, an internet connection (of course you would have it, else what is the use of a smart device!) and install the application (free of cost) and get going. No running to the nearest shopkeeper to get your SMS packs renewed.
If they have brought AT&Ts and Vodafones of the world from heavenly grounds to earth (significantly decreasing ARPU they manage from each subscriber); they have even been...
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