Will it be cheaper or more expensive? It depends which rabbi you ask

Holidays are usually a quiet time, without any more aggressive promotions or new mobile offers. These are most often launched in June, when customers are still at home, and they will have time to take advantage of the new offer before going on vacation.

However, this summer is a bit different, it seems that a pandemic and a change in our habits had a significant share in it: we work differently, we rest differently (and at different times), we use telecommunications services differently.

T-Mobile sells free network resources.

T-Mobile showed the new Heyah offer. I have already stopped counting which reanimation of this brand is. It must be admitted, however, that this cutlet tolerates reheating quite well, because it is still flavored with sentiment. For the younger ones, I would like to remind you that it was the first prepaid on the market, offering a price below PLN 1 per minute of connection and a second clock as standard, when the subscription cost such pleasure from 5 to 10 PLN. 16 years ago, as many as one million customers took advantage of the offer in less than a quarter. Today, such a revolution is unimaginable.

Effectively, less than PLN 20 a month in the "red paw" for no-limit and 20 GB, because PLN 39 is paid every second billing period, it's a good price, but guaranteed only for a year. "Madżent" can afford affordable offers with large data packets, because their network has a lot of spare capacity, which is idle. It will be hard to use in the next year, when 5G begins to appear, increasing even more available mobile resources. Therefore, it is an opportunity to attract active customers, who can be expected to want to stay and pay more when they learn about the advantages and disadvantages of T-Mobile.

The new Heyah offer is also following the footsteps of Folx (later Play Next) and Orange Flex, ie "operator in the application". There is only an eSIM missing here, which would make this offer more complete, detached from stationary customer service points and interesting for gadget lovers, especially under the sign of a bitten apple.

Play wants to reverse the negative trend.

Play approached the topic of acquiring new customers differently. It has just lowered the prices of one of the most popular, cheap subscriptions with a telephone by PLN 15. No-limit, 7 GB transfer and a phone for PLN 1 (Samsung Galaxy A01 worth about PLN 600) for PLN 50.

"Łolaboga, 7 giga is enough for me for a week!" - such comments will appear in a moment. I encourage the authors to come out of their own bubble. The price works wonders, it is primarily the sensitivity of customers who are not constantly on the phone with their noses like most readers of this column. They use the phone differently, they need much less data, often looking for Wi-Fi. The additional 6 months of Amazon Prime for free (PLN 150 profit) can be a decoy, especially during the holidays.

The average data consumption on the Play subscription card in 2019 was 9 GB, but the "purple" customers are among the most active. It also shows in which segment the operator sees its chances - mass, price-sensitive, not overburdening the network.

The potential effect in the growth of the SIM card base can be seen quickly. Revenues will be blurred for 2 years of subscription, partially offset by customers who bought more expensive offers in the past months. Because let us remind you that on average, subscription prices in T-Mobile, Orange and Play jumped up by a few zlotys last year (Plus broke out, although it was supposed to raise in the fall).

Contrary to T-Mobile Play, there is not much room for maneuver in reversing the very unfavorable trends in number portability, showing a large scale of customer escape from the network. In terms of communication, 5G sleep time and accelerated by the pandemic, the ending capacity of the modern network does not allow to compete other than in terms of price, which I predicted in the column 2 weeks ago . If this strategy does not work, it will be hard to think of anything else, except for some revolutionary change in communication.

And Plus and Orange will wait.

Is this the beginning of any tectonic movements on the Polish market? One rabbi will say "yes", the other will say "no" and I say "it depends". Plus and Orange can sit back and watch how the market reacts to the "madagent" and "violet" offers. They both have a lot of customer loyalty tools, many additional services that allow them to construct attractive packages invoiced on one document. They may overestimate the service that suits them at the moment. Especially that once the price is lowered, it is difficult to go back to the higher one.

In the short term, I would not expect any more aggressive moves from them. Heyah can pick up active, more prospective and more revenue-generating customers, but also less loyal ones. In turn, Play turned to the less profitable. Both categories of customers may not be worth a reaction.

I will end the column with a quote that will be appreciated by Polish football fans: "we will say what time will tell". However, we will not avoid increases in the long term. Once there is inflation and, except for last year, prices have not increased for many years in contrast to the size of the data packages included in the subscription. Two, that operators are waiting for the cheap construction of the 5G network. The revenue generated by Polish users is one of the lowest in Europe, and money for new generation stations must be found, although it can also be obtained from the sale of masts .

Witold Tomaszewski. Founder and long-time editor-in-chief of TELEPOLIS.PL , later responsible for supporting the investment process of building the Play network in the field of public relations. Now an independent advisor operating on the telecommunications market, specializing in communication strategy and the legislative process. Specialization: 5G.

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Will it be cheaper or more expensive? It depends which rabbi you ask

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