As a means to increase its subscriber base, Idea has launched a “Free Insurance Scheme” for its customers only in Kolkata and West Bengal circle. The move enables Idea customers to avail free accidental insurance benefits. However, the offer is extended only to new customers who will take a new SIM card of the operator.
As of now, the company hasn’t announced any plans of rolling out the insurance offer to existing customers. This is purely a means to gain new customers for the telecom operator, especially due to the fact that Idea’s new customer additions was low at 0.92 million in March, April, and May 2016. On the other hand, Bharti Airtel registered more than 5.64 million new subscribers in the same period.
Why Idea reports low subscriber addition?
In the last five years, Idea Cellular had emerged as the top gainer from mobile number portability, attracting almost as many subscribers as its bigger rivals such as Airtel and Vodafone, helping it to grow from 40 million mark to touch 175 million marks.
However, Idea lacks in 4G space. The inadequate spectrum forced Idea to launch 4G on small amount of airwaves while the market leader Airtel is already using band 40, offering better download speeds. Apparently, the data focused customers are porting to better 4G operator to gain better data services, resulted in low new subscriber addition to Idea.
Idea is also behind offering content apps and other add-on services, pushing it further behind. For a comparison, Airtel focuses on these additional services such as free Wynk series attracting more young crowds to Airtel.
To add up to its agony, Idea’s earlier forte of low calling rates too ended up in vain as TRAI slashed IUC charges, helping smaller operators like Aircel to offer voice calls at lower rates than before. In order to focus high on data, Airtel slashed voice call rates, offering most of its prepaid users to get 1.2p/2 sec calling rate at Rs. 17. In the last two quarters, Idea Cellular removed most of its lower priced data and voice packs to improve its financials, which made no sense to most of its customers, who were using Idea connection as second SIM.
Moreover, Idea 3G has own network in only 12 circles out of 22. They are dependent on partner networks to offer 3G services in other circles. In the circles where Idea lacks own 3G network, the data prices are expensive. Airtel, on the other hand, has a pan India presence when it comes to 3G. It can offer 3G data cards at discounted rates, which helped it in gaining more subscribers when compared to Idea.
Such aforementioned reasons have reduced the net subscriber additions for Idea and this new free insurance scheme could create a change in this.
Readers are requested to check with the Idea showrooms to know the details of the insurance scheme as the company is yet to release an official statement about the free insurance scheme.
Note As of now this is valid in Kolkata circle .