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Mobile Data Tariff Benchmarking

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PhoneWorld Magazine has conducted a research on benchmarking for the data packages being offered currently by the Mobile operators. The bench marketing exercise for Data packages came out to be much difficult than the voice based as normalization of Monthly, Weekly and Daily packages are quite different for each operator.

PhoneWorld team tried to do its best on proving some level of comparison to provide its readers and the consumers an idea of each company’s data tariffs competitiveness. Again, we would like to stress that benchmarking is very important to ensure that you are getting the best deal you can! Without having this intellectual insight of data, how can you effectively decide which package to take and at times negotiate terms when only one party has the answer, and it’s not you, it’s your telecom provider?

PhoneoWorld team has tried to study the various data (GPRS/EDGE) packages available in the market by all the five mobile operators and tried to make a comparison of these tariffs in a simple format that can be understood by not only a retailer but ordinary consumer. While, we have provided comparison based on a few packages a more exhaustive comparison can be found on the Phoneworld website www.phoneworld.com.pk .

As with the voice packages, the Data tariff in Pakistan by mobile operators is also categorized into pre-paid and post-paid. Because of the scarcity of space we have taken monthly, weekly and daily data tariff of each that are generally of interest to the consumers;

Monthly Data Packages

Prepaid Data Tariff Comparison

From the packages available that are provided by the operators on their web site, Warid’s Mobile Internet at Rs. 99.99 is the cheapest in cost but has limitation of only 100 MB limitation followed by Mobilink with 200 MB limitation whereas Ufone & Zong lowest cost packages are double in price i.e. each with Rs.200 but it provides almost 10 times more data for just double the price. So just be aware that Zong & Ufone packages may look expensive but if the amount of data download is considered it would be atleast 5 times more cheaper for a Data savy consumer. Telenor offers a standard Rs. 250 package for 1 GB data download.

As seen Telenor has a standard package of Rs. 250 with 1 Mb download which if exceeded will results in addition of the default internet package of Rs. 1.13/KB. Mobilink Bundle 2 of Rs. 149 is also quite attractive with 1 GB download for low usage consumers.
Zong Rs. 999 and Ufone Rs. 500 offers the most data in terms of volume as they offer unlimited download data. It is interesting to note that ZOng package description for its package is a bit confusing, where on one side it says truly unlimited but have indictaed below that after 2GB the additional data will be charged at default rate, which probably is a typo by the web admin. Ufone Rs. 500 with 6 GB is quite a good package for executives. Warid probably has the most un-attractive Rs. 500 package (applicable for both pre & post paid) with only 2 GB download. Their marketing should come up with more realistic package, when it comes to designing data packages.

Postpaid Data Tariff Comparison

In terms of price, Mobilink has the cheapest data package of Rs. 125 whereas Warid’s with a standard post pay package of Rs. 500 is the costlier in the cheapest available package. However, it is very important to note that Mobilink package of Rs. 125, only has 125 MB of download available. If a rationalization of the packages is done, Mobilink package would turn out to be the most expensive if you are a heavy data user. Zong has a standard Rs. 400 package in both categories with fair usage 4GB download. Ufone Rs. 200 definitely turns out to be the best in value (someone with limited budget) post pay data package with 2G download for low end user.

While, Telenor Rs. 600 is the most costly of the postpaid packages, Mobilink offers unlimited download date for Rs. 500. Mobilink probably want’s to have the best of both world’s by offering a low cost low data and also the unlimited data download package. Mobilink Rs. 500 unlimited download does not have any fair usage asterisk, so it is assumed that they do not have any restriction. In this category Warid seems to have the most unattractive Data Package of Rs.500 with only 2GB cap.

Weekly Data Packages

Prepaid Data Tariff Comparison

Generally consumers are also interested who have fixed or limited income or usage prefer to use Weekly packages instead of monthly packages. We compared the most cheapest and expensive weekly packages. Certain operators such as Ufone and Warid did not have any specific weekly package therefore data was rationalized from their daily & 15 day package to arrive at probable cost of weekly service. It is therefore recommended that consumer should visit the specific web operator’s site for details on the weekly cost of data tariff.

All weekly packages are in the Rs.35 range from cost standpoint except probably Warid’s Rs. 24.5 which has been extended from its unlimited daily of Rs. 3.5/day but the daily cap is just 2 MB and for a week to have 14 MB is almost negligible data. So for a fair comparison one must also take into account the download data available and rationalize it with the cost. Ufone (extended tariff) & Mobilink both with Rs. 35 offers 500 MB for data download. Zong has very intelligently made differentiation that its weekly tariff is not based on download data but on time bases. It has offered 02 hrs of daily download with free download all day on weekend.

Postpaid Data Tariff Comparison

In terms of price, all weekly packages hover around Rs. 35 as most prepaid packages are either kept in line with the weekly pre-paid packages or they do not have a postpaid package at all therefore for pricing comparison alone we took an average of their daily & half monthly package. For most weekly packages one should be very careful as some of them are either time bound or have data caps (with daily download). The most unusual package come out to be Warid’s who’s daily unlimited 24 hr is cheaper than a time and data bound package-The same is the case when this was expanded for the weekly package as they did not have any weekly specific package. In terms volume and price Mobilink, Ufone and Zong have similar packages for the lowest cost packages.

For a weekly package Warid again has the highest cost data package (extended from it daily 15MB). This is probably the most unattractive data package if one is to use a weekly data package, infact if a consumer has to take Warid Data package for a week, it is more appropriate choose the Daily Unlimited package instead otherwise all the other four operators have much attractive offers with low cost of around Rs. 35/= with unlimited data download.

Daily Data Packages

Pakistan is a low ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) market of around Rs. 250/= which is the benchmark globally to see how lucrative or effluent is the mobile subscriber. In advance market it is over Rs. 5000, where global average is somewhere around Rs. 10,000.

The Data ARPU could generally be 4-6 times that of the voice ARPU and therefore a lot of emphasis is paid on getting additional Data customers weather daily or monthly. Also, in Pakistan operators are now a days very aggressively marketing their data package and the consumer for these packages are the student who have very limited budgets therefore we see a lot mobile operators doing extensive advertising and other marketing activities to promote their daily GPRS/EDGE packages.

The daily packages are usually pre-paid as daily post packages are not offered therefore we have categories them as just daily packages and not as pre or post-paid tariff (although some weekly post packages have been arrived based on these daily packages)

Zong, Warid and Telenor have a daily data offering of as low as Rs. 3.5 to Rs. 5. Whereas, Ufone & Mobilink have their lowest daily packages at Rs. 10. However, the earlier three operators have data and time limitation that makes their daily packages quite unattractive. Mobilink and Ufone data cap is 75 MB & 100 MB respectively making it a very attractive package for daily data users. For the same amount of data download as Ufone & Mobilink Telenor has priced it at Rs. 12 (for 50 MB). Zong has a time bound package of for its lowest segment and a daily unlimited at Rs. 10 offer that they say is for limited period.

There are other daily data bundle packages from the operators a s well and therefore is highly recommended that consumer should visit the specific web operator’s site for details on the daily data tariff.

The mobile data tariff benchmarking as said earlier even more difficult process than benchmarking the voice tariff packages. We have tried to provide our readers with some basic comparison, whereas a more detail comparison is provided on our web site (www.phoneworld.com.pk ) and we shall strive to continue providing our readers with regular update on these comparison.