When it comes to delivering next generation services, Telenor India is on the right track – the operator is looking forward to moderising more than 40 per cent of its sites in order to complete its digital journey.
Rituraj Kalita, Circle Business Head, Gujarat, Telenor speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the key priorities of Telenor today and how it is moving ahead with its network transformation initiative.
What are the key priorities for Telenor in Gujarat?
Gujarat is one of the key performing circles for Telenor in India. Telenor has consistently gained market share in the circle with respect to other operators over the last one year. Currently we are no 4 in customer market share and revenue market share with total subscribers of 8.4 million in the circle. We have a strong distribution network with over 315 Telenor stores, 370 distributors and over 48000 point of sales (PoS) servicing our customers.
With the roll out of 4G services in Anand, we have reinforced our promise of offering products and services which are ‘full paisa vasool’. We are continuing our proposition of offering most affordable and high speed 4G services at the cost of 2G.
The journey has been successful largely through our network modernisation programme. With 70% of our sites being ready with advanced equipment and efficient spectral deployment, we are geared up to offer superior speed and better experience. We have reduced network congestion and increased data throughput for an enriched network experience for our customers.
Additionally, the new equipment is environment friendly as it consumes up to 30% less power. This is one of the biggest network modernization deal made by Telenor Group across its business units. Also, it makes Telenor network one of the best in the city both on voice and data services. We will continue to fulfill our promise of paisa vasool offerings by providing additional value in every transaction to our customers.
Please share your vision to further develop the market in Gujarat?
Telenor has established itself in the market as the most affordable operator that offers more value on every transaction done. To reinforce and gain market share we have worked on a three pillar strategy of being best in basic services, best in mass market distribution and being highly efficient in our operations.
We are also committed to become the most preferred partner in the digital journey of our customer and therefore we design our products in a manner that they are simple to understand and easy to use and is available close to all our mass-market customers.
By making “Internet for All” priority for the company, we continue to cater to the mass markets with simple data products like night Internet packs, chutti pack (for reduced roaming tariffs) and rocket recharge (offering customised plan basis individual’s usage).
With the launch of “Telenor Suraksha”, the first-of-its-kind “Free Life Insurance” offer last year, the company played a key role in driving the financial inclusion agenda to the masses.
Recently, we introduced “Tatkal Credit” scheme for our customers, which offers calling minutes, data and balance ensuring that our subscribers are never out of recharge and are always connected with their loved ones. We will continue to create differentiation through such products and services while addressing customer’s need.
At a time when customers look for better QOS on data services… Please share your plans to introduce better experience driven initiatives?
Telenor has always believed in offering more value to its customers by providing affordable and relevant voice and data services. We have embarked on the digital journey by modernising over 40% of our sites with new network equipments and infrastructure for providing superior mobile experience to our customers. We hope to close the swap for most of sites by early next year.
To modernise our network, we have deployed Lean GSM solution that improves the network capacity by nearly 25 % and increases the coverage using the same spectrum resources. All this delivers a better network experience for the customers as he embraces new services on a digital network.
With the swap of legacy infrastructure with modern equipments, Telenor has created a new network that has increased coverage, capacity and improved quality of voice and data services. To understand the impact of the new network on the customer experience a survey was done internally and the results were really encouraging. The survey showed that customer satisfaction score has gone up by 50% in areas where network modernisation has been completed.
Share your subscriber break up and plans to engage more customers in Gujarat?
Telenor Gujarat has kept its focus of being extremely relevant as a mass-market telecom operator. We have over 8.4 million subscribers out of which 28% are data users. Telenor is among few operators who have taken steps to engage and spread awareness around data services among mobile users. As part of this awareness campaign, we have converted some of our retail stores into Grahak Shiksha Kendras (GSK or customer education hubs).
At these GSKs, trained Telenor staff educate customers on safe internet practices and the products that are most relevant to them. Customers also get an opportunity to experience free Wi-Fi services at these specially designed stores.
Telenor Webwise program is aimed at building resilience amongst children around cyber bullying and ensure safe internet practices. Under this programme, Telenor employees conduct workshop in schools to make children aware of the cyber-harm while they are on the Internet and how be safe online. Since the launch of the programme there are close to 7500 students covered in Ahmedabad under WebWise program.
Another key initiative is the Telenor Youth Forum (TYF). It gives the youth a global platform to present their digital ideas to bring change in the society. The programme is conducted by the Telenor group in association with the Nobel Peace Centre and culminates in Oslo in December.
Another unique activity which is currently under going in Gujarat circle is Project Sashakt. Here, Telenor is engaging with elderly people in the society, educating them about smart phones, using internet on their mobile phones and offering them an opportunity to earn with Telenor.
The project was piloted in Anand in 2015 with 44 elderly retailers and in 2016 the number of elderly retailers under Project Sashakt has crossed 200. These elderly retailers are not only earning their livelihood with Telenor but also become ambassadors of Telenor’s mission of ‘Internet for All’ by educating their friends and community members about using internet on their mobile phones.
Please share innovative product offerings in you circle?
As a company, we always strive towards offering the most relevant and affordable products to our customers. Innovation in all products is a key to success which has helped us serve our customers with the best in class service in the region. Some of the recently launched innovative products in our circle are:
- 15 paisa STD calling: STV 36 and STV 84 offer the lowest STD calling rates among all the operators in Gujarat circle. All STD Calls to Telenor numbers in other Telenor Circles can be made at 15 paisa / min. All local calls and STD calls to other network can be made at 25 paisa/min.
- Night data pack: Strengthening Telenor India’s commitment to offer affordable products and superior value to its customers, we launched an exclusive night data packs starting from Rs 2 to Rs 48 with validity ranging from 1 to 28 days. These packs are valid for usage between 11 PM and 7 AM, and offer data benefits up to 1 GB. Innovative products like the night pack not only makes data access affordable but also gives subscribers control over their usage.
- Tatkal-credit facility: We launched Tatkal Credit, an emergency recharge credit facility for customers in all six operating circles. As part of this innovative product, the subscribers can avail a quick loan of Rs 10 in case their phone balance falls below Rs 1.50. The credit balance can be used as talk time, 10 local / STD minutes or 20 MB of data browsing. Products like the Tatkal-credit were designed keeping in mind the comfort of our customers and to avoid the menace of recharging process. It is an initiative by us to ensure that our mass market subscribers are never out of recharge and are always connected.
• Long validity product: Telenor strengthens its commitment to enrich lives of its mass market consumers by offering easy to use and relevant products that offer higher value on every transaction done. We always customise our products according to the needs of our subscribers. Products like STV 36 and STV 84 are few among the many products which have been designed keeping in mind the needs of the customers.