18 March 2008

Virgin mobile!! Can it attract Indian market???

Virgin Mobile is a brand used by several mobile phone service providers operating in the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Canada, South Africa, the United States and France; the brand survived only briefly in Singapore. The international Virgin Mobile businesses each act as independent entities, usually in a partnership between Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and an existing phone company. Virgin Group provides the brand, and the phone company operates the network infrastructure.

Virgin Mobile was the world's first Mobile Virtual Network Operator when it launched in the United Kingdom in 1999. It does not maintain its own network but instead contracts to use the existing network(s) of other providers.

Global network:

In the UK, Virgin Mobile uses the T-Mobile network. In the US, the Sprint Nextel system is the carrier. There is no roaming to other networks in the United States. In Australia, Virgin Mobile operates on the Optus network. In Canada, it uses the Bell Mobility network. In France, it uses Orange SA. Virgin Mobile South Africa uses the Cell C network for coverage across South Africa. These networks use two different mobile telephony standards, GSM and CDMA. GSM is used in the UK, South Africa, Australia and France. CDMA is used in the US and Canada.

In all countries, Virgin Mobile offers prepaid pay-as-you-go service. In the UK, US, Australia and South Africa, Virgin Mobile also offers a post-paid option to approved customers. Already very common in the UK at the time of Virgin Mobile's launch, prepaid wireless service was a very small part of the US wireless market. Nevertheless, competitive pricing, a "no-frills" approach and award winning customer service ensured a small but significant market share.

Virgin India

On March 1,2008 Virgin launched the Mobile brand in India through a franchise arrangement with Tata Teleservices. This is Virgin’s seventh launch globally and its largest investment to date in India, said Branson, noting that the Indian market was very attractive, growing like none other in the world.

Richard Branson, head of the Virgin Group, may be trying to bring his successful Virgin Mobile cell phone brand to India. India is one of the largest upcoming mobile phone markets in the world and the country already has more cell phones than land lines.

An Indian Virgin Mobile would operate in Branson's typical style--as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). This means the company would buy bulk space from an existing wireless company and resell it under the Virgin brand.

As far as the US in concerned, many expect Virgin Mobile USA to file an IPO valued at more than $2 billion.

About Franchise:

Virgin Mobile” brand is India’s ‘first’ national youth-focused mobile service. “Virgin Mobile” branded services are being offered to the Indian consumers by Tata Teleservices through a brand franchise with Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile India will provide Tata Teleservices with experience and expertise in designing, marketing and servicing of “Virgin Mobile” branded products for the youth segment.

Incoming Free and Get Paid to Receive Calls: Get 10 paise for every 60 seconds incoming received from any phone

So watz on news over Virgin:

Indian telecom operators will take time to roll out ‘get paid for receiving calls’ scheme despite its launch by British telecom company Virgin Mobile. The telecom operators are not so convinced of the scheme’s potential.

The operators believe that the industry is not ready for these services, even though such plans are good for users in Singapore.

The service charges in the country are already lowest in the world and will not slide further for sometime. Moreover, this is also against the existing practice of an operator trying to match every scheme launched by competitors.

“We have no intentions of introducing the plan at present. At the end of the day, products and prices should be evaluated in their totality, and so, we have never considered launching a package or service in isolation,” said Bharti Airtel President (Mobile Services) Sanjay Kapoor.

Adding that Bharti Airtel’s services were ‘competitive’, he said, the company evaluates market conditions before launching any scheme.

Ditto for Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications and Vodafone Essar. The companies’ executives have confirmed that there were no immediate plans to launch the services.

BPL Mobile Director and CEO S Subramaniam, said, “We have no immediate plans to roll out the services as we believe the eco-system in the country is not ready to support this. These schemes will not be beneficial to established players In India even though they will help companies starting operations to get a foothold in the country.”

According to an analyst, who did not want to be named, the plans are unexpected as an operator launches similar or even better schemes than its competitors.

Launching Virgin Mobile telecom brand in India under a franchisee agreement with CDMA company Tata Teleservices, the UK-based Virgin Group ushered in the regime of ‘making payments to users for receiving calls’.

The company is crediting airtime worth 10 paise to a user’s account for every 60-second call received. Although it did not divulge details of the scheme, industry analysts were of opinion that the company was crediting one-third of the termination charges received from other players. The termination charges for a 60-second call are 30 paise at present.

“The model which all of us are looking at, involves crediting airtime to the user for listening to a 10-second advertisement jingle. But this will take time as advertisers and mobile operators will have to gear up for this regime,” said Subramaniam.

Official site : Virgin India



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