Pakistan Mobile Operator’s 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

The launch of 3G & 4G services have opened doors for many opportunities in Pakistan. All mobile operators are making the provision of internet services more accessible and affordable. The availability of internet has also witnessed a huge turn in the industry from revenue point of view. The telecom sector managed to make revenues of about Rs. 333.2 billion alone during July 2015 to March 2016, revealed by the Economic Survey (2015-2016), with tax revenues up to 105.92 billion. PTA analysis indicates that the total number of 3G/4G subscribers alone have increased to 35 million as of October, 2016 with the total population of Pakistan estimated around 191.71 million. Now the time is ideal as we can surely make room for higher future returns in the telecom sector only if we manage to take full advantage from 3G/4G services.

Pakistan Mobile Operator’s 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

According to Economic Survey (2015-2016), the telecom sector managed to make revenues of about Rs. 333.2 billion during July
2015-March 2016, with tax revenues up to 105.92 billion

Similarly, the Mobile operators have been centering all their concerns to capture the markets of the 3G/4G subscribers due to the growing m-services trends in the country. For this reason, major focus has been driven to the competitive “Data Tariffs”. Operators have gone to every limit in order to increase their subscriber base like mergers, re-branding, attractive marketing strategies etc.

PhoneWorld Magazine has always played an active role in facilitating the subscribers by providing reliable and accurate data regarding the telecom and ICT products and services. We have only compared 3G tariffs in this analysis whereas, a detailed 4G data tariff bench-marking will be done in our next issue. The
purpose of this analysis is to facilitate our readers in selecting the best data package according to their needs and requirements.

Pre-Paid Data Packages

Daily Data Packages

Telecom market has become very competitive and has
forced mobile companies to adopt affordable pricing
strategies despite heavy taxation. Operators have made
various changes in their data packages and pricing. We
have done this analysis for a clearer understanding of
each operator has customized its packages and pricing,
making them more customer friendly.

Total number of 3G/4G subscribers have increased to 35 million subscribers as of October, 2016; indicating that now the time is ideal as we can surely make room for higher future returns in the
telecom sector

Let’s start with the daily 3G packages offered by the four operators:

Pakistan Mobile Operator's 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

As evident from the above chart, all operators have made major changes in their pricing and packages. All these packages have improved that offer more MBs for lesser prices, making the competition tougher for operators.

Pakistan Mobile Operator's 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

Zong’s minimum daily data package was offered at 4 MB for Rs. 4 while, the daily premium package was priced at Rs. 20 with the data limit of 80 MB. According to the latest pricing, 200 MB data is available for Rs. 25. Zong previously offered 1 MB per rupee with average and now offers about 4 MB per rupee on its lowest daily 4G data package. Similarly it doubled its package data from 4 MB to 8 MB at the same price charged previously for its highest daily packages

Telenor has continued with its two daily packages. The old cheapest package was the daily bundle package which was priced at Rs.15, had a quota of 50 MB whereas, it now offers its cheapest package for Rs.12 that gives 75 MB. The higher priced package was daily plus bundle priced at Rs.25 and had the data limit of 100 MB which is now changed to 75 MB package for Rs.15. Telenor has adopted a similar strategy by doubling its per rupee
unit data from 3 MB to 6 MB for its lowest daily data packages. While it only made an incremental change in its highest daily data packages i-e from 4 MB to 5 MB per rupee.

In the packages and pricing war, Ufone seems least competitive. It did not make any changes to its daily packages and sticked to its previous price chart with the strategy that the more users pay, the more speed/data they get.

Mobilink previously offered two 3G daily bundle but now offers three daily 3G bundles. Earlier, the cheapest package had a data cap of 5 MB and priced Rs. 5 which is now changed to 30 MB for
Rs.5.

All operators have made major changes in their prices & packages. Daily packages have improved and offer more
MBs for lesser price, making the competition tougher for
operators

The other package that was more expensive was the 3G daily bundle, offered for Rs. 15 and had a data limit of 50 MB. The current cost of this package is Rs. 12. The graphs below give a comparison of the old and new data packages offered by four mobile operators, illustrating maximum and minimum MBs offered per rupee in cheapest and premium daily packages.

Weekly Data Packages

We have also made an overall comparison of old and new weekly packages. Here are the details:

Pakistan Mobile Operator's 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

Pakistan Mobile Operator's 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

Zong now offers two weekly data packages instead of one. Previously, Zong offered the cap of 280 MB at Rs. 70 but now 700 MB is offered at the same price. On the other hand, its premium package offered 2000 MB at Rs. 100. A huge difference can be seen in average MB per rupee. Initially 4MBs were offers per rupee but now 20 MB are offered at the same price.

Telenor also adopted a similar strategy like Zong and has introduced two weekly bundles, it offers more for less by going from 7 MB per rupee to 10 MB per rupee

Telenor also adopted a similar strategy and introduced two weekly bundles, it offers more for less by going from 7 MB per rupee to 10 MB per rupee. Again Ufone made no substantial change in its 3G data prices, slight improvement can be witnessed in its premium package where its 2 MB data per rupee increased to
4 MBs. Mobilink also made slight up-gradation in its
average MBs offered per rupee.

Telenor, Ufone and Mobilink do not offers any weekly data packages for its postpaid customers

Monthly Data Packages

Below is the Comparative analysis of the new and old prices for the prepaid monthly data bundles:Pakistan Mobile Operator's 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

There are varieties of monthly datapackages offered
by mobile operators to choosefrom when it comes to monthly tariff.Pakistan Mobile Operator's 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

Zong offers six different monthly packages. Among these, the lowest packages prices seem to remain unchanged whereas, a minor difference in old and newprice of its highest data package can be seen.

Telenor has recently offered 4 monthly data packages. With no change in its prices and number of units served at per rupee.
Ufone now offers three monthly data packages where premium package has intensely improved, offering 10 MBs per rupee instead of 2.

Mobilink made remarkable changes in its data packages by increasing number of MBs offered per rupee.

Post-Paid Data Packages

Weekly Data Packages

Starting from weekly data packages, Zong has the same weekly data package for both pre-paid and postpaid customers which costs Rs. 70 and has a data cap of 280 MB. Same changes have been made as per its Pre-Paid 3G Data Packages. Whereas, Telenor, Ufone and Mobilink do not offers any weekly data packages for its post-paid customers.

Pakistan Mobile Operator's 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

Pakistan Mobile Operator's 3G Data Tariff: Strategies & Comparison

Following tables show the per rupee unit being served by the operators for the weekly data packages:

Telenor, Ufone and Mobilink do not offers any weekly data packages for its post-paid customers

Monthly Data Packages

Zong has the same monthly data bundle for its postpaid customers as it has for its pre-paid customers and same changes are made in post-paid monthly packages. The cut-rate package that Zong previously offered was of Rs. 50 with the data limit of 150 MB. The most expensive data package by Zong was of Rs. 650 and had a data cap of 4096 MB (or 4 GB). According to its newly introduced packages, the most expensive package is now available for Rs. 3500 and has the data package of 20 GB.

postpaid-monthly

postpaid-monthly-average

Telenor’s previous lowest-cost package was available for Rs. 200 with 300 MB data limit and the most expensive package was of 8000 MB (or 8 GB) at the cost of Rs. 1000. Currently Telenor’s lowest 3G package costs Rs. 100, with 1.5 GB data offered per rupee. So on average, the monthly lowest data package has remained unchanged.

Higher ARPU is directly related to bundled ervices offered by telecommunication companies, so the more affordable and attractive data tariff is, the more it will earn for the company

Ufone has deployed a different strategy to bundle up data with data speed caps. The most economic Ufone package offered 1 GB for Rs. 200 (speed up to 256 Kbps) but the same data package is now available for Rs.300, which means, 5 MB were offer per rupee
which now decreased to 3 MB. Whereas, more per rupee MB is now offered under premium package. Mobilink has also introduced two new monthly postpaid 3G data packages with minimum package priced at Rs. 500 that offers 3GB while the premium 3G
data package is available for Rs. 1000, with the data package of 8GB.

Conclusion

Without advancements and innovations, long-term targets cannot be achieved in any field of life. Similarly, the loyalty of customers is deeply linked with the more affordable packages. The four mobile networks in Pakistan have definitely changed their
pricing strategies when it comes to data packages, with an ever increasing subscribers. Higher Average Revenue per User (ARPU) is directly related to bundled services offered by telecommunication companies, so the more affordable and attractive data tariff is, the more it will earn for the company. But above all is the consumer satisfaction with the services is important. Just affordability without quality of service will affect the consumer experience. Hence, all mobile operators must introduce data tariffs while also ensuring the best connectivity services for their subscribers.

Article Writer: Mariam Zafar

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