GrameenPhone Subscriber’s Service Awareness Status

Executive Summary

As a market leader, GrameenPhone is continuously coming up with new ideas regarding its products and services. Recently, the company is mainly focusing on the non-voice services. Because, the company knows in near future, voice based services will reach to the maturity stage which will make the business growth constant to some extents. Hence, the company is trying to maintain the leading position in non-voices services as well like SMS, Push-Pull, and Information related services at the early growing stage. These services are working as a building block to increase GP’s service value.

Coming up with innovative service is easier than making subscribers aware of services. Hence through this internship report, I have tried to find the GP subscribers’ service awareness status. A comprehensive telephone survey was conducted to get subscribers’ feedback about their GP services’ awareness level. 120 respondents were picked up randomly from GP subscribers’ directory. SPMS, MS Excel was used to analyze data.

The survey data show that there is a huge gap between service offered to the subscribers and awareness of those services. Majority of the subscribers are unaware about GP services. Though they are aware about services, they do not know how to use services.  Newspaper is the most effective media to make subscriber aware about GP services. Moreover, they preferred newspaper to learn about GP services. The whole analysis draws the conclusion that GP subscribers’ has low awareness about GP services.

Now making subscribers aware about GP services will be the great challenge for the company. GP has to build awareness through promotional campaign, work shop, press conference to promote subscribers about its services. Increased service awareness status will raise the service value of GP, increase subscribers usages rate result increase revenue for GP. If continuous development of new product and service can not simultaneously aware subscribers then it will neither worth much to subscribers nor add value to the company. Now GP has to consider the GAP minimization and maintain alignment with service offering and service awareness. Otherwise, in the long run new services innovation will not give its ultimate success.

Introduction

Background of the Report

GrameenPhone launched its mobile phone service on March 26, 1997 and since then has become the largest mobile phone operator in the country. The company is continuously improving and offering new services to add value. Along with GSM features GrameenPhone is offering Value Added Services (VAS), Special services, Push Pull services, after sales services and information services.

 Coming up with innovative service is easier than making subscribers aware of services. Hence through this internship report, I have tried to find the GP subscribers’ service awareness status. A comprehensive telephone survey was conducted to get subscribers’ feedback about their GP services’ awareness level. In addition, I have tried to identify and analyze the effective media, which can build the awareness level of GP subscribers. For this survey, I picked up 120 respondents randomly from GP subscribers’ directory. SPSS, MS Excel is used to analyze data. Therefore, on the basis of analysis of collected data I tried to portray the real picture of service usage and provide suggestion for further improvement, as we know, if continuous development of new product and service can not simultaneously aware subscribers then it will neither worth much to subscribers nor add value to the company. So, making subscribers aware about GP services is the great challenge for the company.

 Objectives

The objectives of this report are:

A     To determine the GrameenPhone subscribers services awareness status and services usages.

B     To recognize the popularity of the VAS and determine the frequency of its usage.

C     To identify the efficient and effective Medias to build services awareness among GrameenPhone’s subscribers.

 Significance of the study

 GP knows that in near future, voice based services will reach to the maturity stage which will make the business growth constant to some extents. So, non-voice and value added services would be the determining factor in future. For that reason, they are offering and preparing to offer many more new services for their subscribers. But, if the continuous development of new product and service can not simultaneously aware subscribers then it will neither worth much to subscribers nor add value to the company. So, it is very important to determine the service awareness level as we know the increased service awareness status will raise the service value of GP, increase subscribers usages rate result increase revenue for GP. So, this research reflects the awareness level as well as feedback form the subscribers and will help to generate new ideas about future products and services along with service awareness program.

Problem statement

GP is already providing various types of services for its subscribers but it can be unsuccessful if subscribers become unaware about a service. Under the above circumstances, GrameenPhone wants to know about its subscribers’ awareness level and adoption of different sort of services, effective medias to make subscribers aware and promote its services. Thus, based on their feedbacks about currents services, GP intends to provide new and customized services for their valued subscribers, so, in my research I have focused on subscribers’ service awareness status and possible ways of awareness building.

The main focus of this research is to find GP subscribers services awareness status. To measure awareness status I have prepared a perspective scale. And bases on this I have formulated my research hypothesis. The perspective scale is divided into five equal parts. In the perspective scale if more than 80% subscribers aware about GrameenPhone service then I have interpreted it as GP subscribers’ service awareness status is very high. If subscribers’ awareness status ranges from more than 60% to less than equal to 80% then the interpretation will be, subscribers’ awareness is only high and so on.

From the above perspective scale the formulated test hypothesis is GrameenPhone subscribers have very high services awareness status, which means more than to 80% subscribers know about GrameenPhone services.

Methodology

The type of business research, which is used in this report, is of descriptive in nature. Through this descriptive research, the report determines the answers to why, what, where and how questions of the existing GP subscribers and their expectations.

I have used both primary and secondary data in this research. Printed reports available at CS letter, annual reports, leaflets, brochures and the official web site can be the sources of secondary data. I conducted survey for primary data collection, which will be executed through telephone. For this purpose a questionnaire is developed encompassing the objectives of the reports and the sample. The questionnaire includes both open and close-ended questions for in-depth understanding of attitudes of the subscribers.

The total number of GrameenPhone subscribers are considered as the population of the research and out of these total subscribers randomly picked 120 subscribers is the sample.

I have compiled the processed and collected information with the aid of MS Excel, SPSS computer software. Detailed explanation, analysis and future projections are incorporated through graph, frequency table, percentage, t-test, Z-test, chi-square analysis and cross tabulation in this report.

Research Report

The report is prepared completely by the end of the semester. For preparation of the report, managerial (GP) support and recommendation is required. Here, the first part includes organizational overview and second part contains the project part means the data analysis, findings of data collection, discussion, recommendation and conclusion.

Limitations

  • The major limitation factor for this report is the complexity of the topic.
  • Since the survey was conducted in telephone questionnaire, it was a great challenge to ensure the actual validity of the response.
  • In some cases, general GP subscribers who have minimal idea about the services may not understand the topics. Yet the nature of the topic required the questionnaire to be designed in such a way that it extracts information as much as possible indented.
  • There were some limitations of access to information, which are strictly confidential for the company.
  • Last but not the least; it won’t be possible to obtain 100% accurate data since the survey was done on a set of sample, not the entire population.

 An Overview of Mobile industry and GrameenPhone Limited

Telecommunication industry in Bangladesh is in emerging stage, experiencing robust growth. The monopoly in the field was demolished and perfect competitive market emerged. Since than the entire cell phone companies are trying to attract their subscribers through various lucrative offers. As with advance technological advancement, the mobile telecommunication industry proved to be competitive. Now Bangladesh has stepped into the world of first communication and communication has been made easy through the introduction of cellular (mobile) telephones. Notwithstanding the initial cost of the mobile phones, the media has outstandingly increased its popularity as we can see that presently there are more than 19 million mobile phone users as against 1 million fixes-line (Land Phone) subscribers.

The existing Cellular phone companies in Bangladesh are City Cell (Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited), GrameenPhone Ltd, Robi, Warid Telecom, Banglalink and TeleTalk. Among these company GrameenPhone, Robi, Warid Telecom, Banglalink and TeleTalk adopted GSM technology and City cell the market pioneer started with CDMA technology.

 Company Profile

GrameenPhone Limited, the number one and leading mobile phone company in the area of telecommunications in Bangladesh. Of five mobile operators, GP managed to grab 62% of the market share only by providing cost-effective & best service available in the market of mobile telecommunication. GP has made its expansion not only in the urban areas, but also it stretched its network in the rural areas for the economic empowerment of the rural people. GrameenPhone Limited has made a special arrangement with Grameen Telecom, an affiliate of Grameen Bank in providing the cellular services in the rural country. Now GrameenPhone has the total subscriber of more than 25 million.

GP believes Excellency in its service towards its subscribers. It is growing and at the same time being competitive. To keep up this upward trend and leading position absolute dedication to understanding and fulfilling their customer needs with the appropriate mix of standard service, reliability, improved technology and skilled as well as dedicated manpower is necessary.

Historical Background

The company has so far invested more than BDT 15,260 crore to build the network infrastructure since its inception in 1997. GrameenPhone is also one the largest taxpayers in the country, having contributed more than BDT 16,600 crore in direct and indirect taxes to the Government Exchequer over the years.

Since its inception in March 1997, GrameenPhone has built the largest cellular network in the country with over 12,000 base stations in more than 6000 locations. Presently, nearly 98 percent of the country’s population is within the coverage area of the GrameenPhone network.

GrameenPhone was also the first operator to introduce the pre-paid service in September 1999. It established the first 24-hour Call Center, introduced value-added services such as VMS, SMS, fax and data transmission services, international roaming service, WAP, SMS-based push-pull services, EDGE, personal ring back tone and many other products and services.

The entire GrameenPhone network is also EDGE/GPRS enabled, allowing access to high-speed Internet and data services from anywhere within the coverage area. There are currently nearly 3 million EDGE/GPRS users in the GrameenPhone network.GrameenPhone nearly doubled its subscriber base during the initial years while the growth was much faster during the later years. It ended the inaugural year with 18,000 customers, 30,000 by the end of 1998, 60,000 in 1999, 193,000 in 2000, 471,000 in 2001, 775,000 in 2002, 1.16 million in 2003, 2.4 million in 2004, 5.5 million in 2005, 11.3 million in 2006, 16.5 million in 2007, 20 million in 2008 and end 2009 with 23.26 million customers.

From the very beginning, GrameenPhone placed emphasis on providing good after-sales services. In recent years, the focus has been to provide after-sales within a short distance from where the customers live. There are now more than 600 GP Service Desks across the country covering nearly all upazilas of 61 districts. In addition, there are 78 GrameenPhone Centers in all the divisional cities and they remain open from 8am-7pm every day including all holidays. GP has generated direct and indirect employment for a large number of people over the years. The company presently has more than 4500 full and temporary employees. Another 150,000 people are directly dependent on GrameenPhone for their livelihood, working for the GrameenPhone dealers, retailers, scratch card outlets, suppliers, vendors, contractors and others.

In addition, the Village Phone Program, also started in 1997, provides a good income-earning opportunity to more than 210,000 mostly women Village Phone operators living in rural areas. The Village Phone Program is a unique initiative to provide universal access to telecommunications service in remote, rural areas. Administered by Grameen Telecom Corporation, it enables rural people who normally cannot afford to own a telephone to avail the service while providing the VP operators an opportunity to earn a living.

The Village Phone initiative was given the “GSM in the Community” award at the global GSM Congress held in Cannes, France in February 2000. GrameenPhone was also adjudged the Best Joint Venture Enterprise of the Year at the Bangladesh Business Awards in 2002. GrameenPhone was presented with the GSM Association’s Global Mobile Award for ‘Best use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development’ at the 3GSM World Congress held in Singapore, in October 2006, for its Community Information Center (CIC) project, and for its Health Line Service project at the 3GSM World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain, in February 2007.

GrameenPhone considers its employees to be one of its most important assets. GP has an extensive employee benefit scheme in place including Gratuity, Provident Fund, Group Insurance, Family Health Insurance, Transportation Facility, Day Care Centre, Children’s Education Support, Higher Education Support for employees, in-house medical support and other initiatives

 The Vision, the Mission and the Objective

 Company Vision

  “We are here to help”

      The vision will be achieved by

  Connecting Bangladesh with ease and care.

  Being user-friendly.

  Providing value for money.

  Providing simple and timely connections.

  Having a right and understandable process.

 

            Company Mission

  Knowing customer expectations

  Knowing US

  Organizing US

            Values

  Make it easy

  Keep promises

  Be inspiring

  Be respectful

   Objectives of the GrameenPhone

  Good Business, Good Development

GrameenPhone’s basic strategy is the coverage of both urban and rural areas. The Company has devised its strategies so that it earns healthy returns for its shareholders and at the same time, contributes to genuine development of the country. In short, it pursues a dual strategy of good business and good development.

Serving the mass market is one of GP’s primary goals. By serving the general public as opposed to niche markets, the Company plans to achieve economies of scale and healthy profits. At the same time, service to the general public means connectivity to a wider population and general economic development of the country. In contrast to the “island” strategy followed by some companies, which involves connecting isolated islands of urban coverage through transmission links, GrameenPhone Limited builds continuous coverage, cell after cell. While the intensity of coverage may vary from area to area depending on market conditions, the basic strategy of cell-to-cell coverage is applied throughout GrameenPhone’s network. In addition, GP has positioned itself to capitalize on the declining prices of handsets, making its goal to serve the general public realistic.

 The Purpose

GrameenPhone Limited has a dual purpose to receive an economic return on its investments and to contribute to the economic development of Bangladesh where telecommunications can play a critical role. This is why GrameenPhone Limited, in collaboration with Grameen Bank and Grameen Telecom, is aiming to place one phone in each village to contribute significantly to the economic benefit of the poor.

 The Strategies

GrameenPhone’s strategy is coverage of both urban and rural areas. In contract to the “island” strategy followed by some companies, which involves connecting isolated islands of urban coverage through transmission links, GrameenPhone Limited builds continuous coverage, cell after cell. While the intensity of coverage may vary from area to area depending on market conditions, the basic strategy of cell-to-cell coverage is applied throughout GrameenPhone’s network.

The People

The people who are making it happen- the employees are young, dedicated and energetic. All of them are well educated at home or abroad, with both sexes (gender) and minority groups in Bangladesh being well represented. They know win their in hearts that GrameenPhone is more than phones. This sense of purpose gives them the dedication and the drive, production-in about five years- the biggest coverage and subscriber-base in the country. GrameenPhone Limited knows that the talents and energy of its employees are critical to its operation and treats them accordingly.

 The Technology

GrameenPhone’s Global System for Mobile or GSM technology is the most widely accepted digital system in the world, currently used by over 900 million people in 150 countries. GSM brings the most advanced development in cellular technology at a reasonable cost by spurring severe competition among manufactures and driving down the cost of equipment. Thus consumers get the best for the least.

Company Service

GrameenPhone Limited believes in service, a service that leads to good business and good development. Telephony helps people work together, raising their productivity. This gain in productivity is development, which in turn enables them to afford a telephone service, generating a good business. Thus development and business go together.

Shareholders of GrameenPhone Limited

Telenor:

As is the state-owned Telecommunications Company in Norway, a country with one of the highest mobile phone densities in the world. It holds 62% share in GrameenPhone Limited. Telenor has played a pioneering role in development of cellular communications, particularly, but not exclusively, GSM technology. In addition to Norway and Bangladesh, Telenor owns GSM companies in Portugal, Denmark, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Montenegro, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan and recently in India.

Telenor is using the expertise it has gained in its home and international markets and putting it to use in an emerging market such as Bangladesh. Telenor has many alliances in other countries, bringing experience and competence, both technological and business, to ventures such as GrameenPhone. Telenor has opened a regional Asia office in Singapore, an expansion that emphasizes its ‘No Barriers motto.

Grameen Telecom:

Grameen Telecom is a not-for-profit organization and a sister concern of Grameen Bank, the internationally recognized bank for the poor with an expansive rural network and extensive understanding of the economic needs of the rural population. Grameen Telecom has 38% share in GrameenPhone Limited. Grameen Telecom, with the help of Grameen Bank, administers the Village Phone services to the villagers and trains the operators as well as handles all service-related issues. Grameen Bank covers 40,486 villages, or 60 percent of rural Bangladesh through its 1175 bank branches. Grameen Telecom’s objectives are to provide easy access to telephones in rural Bangladesh, introduce a new income-generating source for villagers, bring the Information Revolution to villages and prove that telecommunications can serve as a weapon against poverty. More than 95,000 village phone is delivered to poor women to meet their financial need.

Organizational Structure

GP has in total 4595 employees. Major divisions of GP are: Commercial, Sales & Distribution, Marketing, Technical, Finance, and People and Organization. The CEO also heads a separate department. The top level management structure of GrameenPhone Limited is shown below:

 Organogram of GrameenPhone Ltd. (Topmost level)

 Recently management has brought a change in the organizational structure in view of need of time. As of the recent change, line function of the company comprises of the 3 different tasks. These are:

  • Build & Operate
  • Sell
  • Care

Total number of Employee: According GrameenPhone on 4th June, 2010, the number of employees in different departments is:

Sourcing

59

Financial Services

16

Internal Audit

14

Wholesale Business

26

Strategy

2

Communications

69

Technology

977

Corporate Affairs

46

Department of Company Secretary

5

Finance

245

MD’s Secretariat

1

Commercial

2908

People and Organization

227

Total

4595

Network and network coverage of GrameenPhone

GrameenPhone aims to build a full range of service all over the country. The company has targeted to build extensive network all over the country. For better coverage, GP has taken 1600 Km fiber optic cable network leased from Bangladesh Railway. In April 2006, GP had 5500 base stations. Now GP has over 12,000 base stations in more than 6000 locations. Presently, nearly 98 percent of the country’s population is within the coverage area of the GrameenPhone network. Already the company has expanded its network to 64 districts. It’s the only company which covers the most of the land areas with its network. Approximately 99% land area is covered by GrameenPhone’s network. In over all, GrameenPhone offers the most competitive network facility to its subscribers, and continue improving it. Existing coverage areas are divided into six zones according to the divisional boundary.

Distribution Channel

Distribution channel is the bridge between the company and the consumers. Distribution channel is very important for any company. If there is a gap in the distribution channel, the marketer is unable to reach its products/services to the customers in time.

GP decided to distribute its products through its own distribution channel. And the agents would sell the mobiles to the customers. As GP’s growth rate is very high, there are many interested people who want to become distributor of GrameenPhone. But GP has some strict policies that are maintained while giving permission to the new sales agents.

Moreover, GP has agreements with established distribution channels like Butterfly, Flora, and Rangs; who are also acting as GP’s distributors. Currently the number of distributors in the country is over 750.

At the beginning, GP started its sale through only 12 POS (Point of Sales) around the country. Then simultaneously its POS have been increasing with growing demand of mobile service. The total number of Points of Sales in the GP distribution network increased to 391 in December 2003 from 353 in December 2002. Recently, total Number Point of Sales is 2095 as of Dec’09. Meanwhile, till Dec’09, GP has 175 Scratch Card distributors with 27,500 retail outlets throughout the Country.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat. This is a very important tool for a company to analyze its internal and external environment. Let us carry out a SWOT Analysis of GrameenPhone.

Strengths

  • Market Leader:

GrameenPhone Limited (GP) became the country’s leading cell phone operator since 2001. From year 2001 to till now GrameenPhone’s subscribers has increased 471,300 to 23 million represent 62% of the market share. GrameenPhone Limited in recent years has maintained its consistent growth strategy country wide, offering cellular voice and non voice services to the market at an affordable price, on a scale hitherto unprecedented. The expansion of the mobile network has gradually included a large number of remote villages.

  • Good Owner Structure

GrameenPhone Limited is 62% owned by Telenor, a sate-owned telecommunication company from Norway and 38% owned by Grameen Telecom. From these companies GrameenPhone get financial and technical supports.

  • Financial Soundness:

GrameenPhone Limited has a huge amount of capital mainly invested by the shareholders. Capital size is $280 million. Moreover, global institutions like IMF, World Bank etc. have sanctioned loan for GP. This is a huge success for GP. GrameenPhone’s total capitalization was US$120,000,000, including around US$50 million from IFC/CDC, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It also received US$60 million in equity from the four GrameenPhone private partners. Grameen Telecom borrowed US$10.6 million from the Open Society Institute to set up Village Phone. The company continued to invest heavily in expanding the capacity of its network and coverage.  

  • Largest Geographical Coverage:  

GrameenPhone Limited has the largest geographical network coverage compare to its competitors. GP will continue to make fresh investments to further expand its coverage throughout the country and increase the capacity of the network, so that more people can avail the service. GP has already bringing the total number of base stations to 12000 operating around the country. Presently, GrameenPhone has coverage 99% area of the country. The competitors are also lagging far behind in this regard.

  • Competitive price:

Price is a big competitive advantage for GP. GP is selling the hand-sets and connection package at a very low rate. E.g. lowest package rate of GP was TK 1450/=. The competitors are no where near GP, in this regard. The lowest connection price of GP is now 200 taka only which also include 300 taka free talk time.

  • Availability of Backbone Network (Optical fiber):

GrameenPhone Ltd. sub-leases the Transmission Capacity of its 3600 Fiber Optic Network, leased from Bangladesh Railway, commercially to the prospective business units/clients. There is a contract between GrameenPhone and Bangladesh Railway that GP will use this network for the next 25 years. This advantage enables GP to set a Nation Wide Network in a very contemptible expense. GP optic facilitates nationwide coverage, technical expertise, robust network and minimum downtime for non-protective circuits.

  • International Roaming:

GrameenPhone is providing international roaming facility for post paid subscribers and CAMEL project for pre paid. These subscribers can avail this facility after fulfilling some requirements. GP has international roaming agreement with 365 mobile phone operators of 115 countries.

  • Dynamic management team:

GrameenPhone has a dynamic management team that consist experts from both home and abroad. This helps GP to always remain on track and move forward at a consistent pace.

  • 24 hours customer service:

GP has a 24 hour customer service tool. This is popularly known as ‘helpline’. This service keeps a continuous relationship with the subscribers.

  • GP-GP Network:

GrameenPhone has an absolute advantage in mobile to mobile phone (GP-GP) market in comparison to the competitors. This is really a new concept in the mobile telecommunication network. GP has developed this alternative network that is fully dominated by them.

  • EDGE:

As I have already mentioned that EDGE stands for Enhanced data for Global Evolution. GP has started this service back in 2005 and presently has almost 3 million EDGE users. It is an advanced form of GPRS. EDGE/ GPRS is a platform or technology built on GSM based on which can provide some fabulous services like WAP, MMS, Internet Browsing etc

  • Established Brand / Brand Name / Grameen Image:

The branding activities have led GrameenPhone to build a strong brand. The mother brand is placed on the same platform as other renowned brands like British American Tobacco, Citicorp etc in Bangladesh. GrameenPhone has already built its brand image by its profound service, widest network coverage and social responsibilities. Moreover GP is the second largest taxpayer created a better brand image in customers mind.

  • Individualism:

Although GrameenPhone Limited has close affiliation with its multinational parent company, GrameenPhone has an independent brand identity in the market.

  • Extensive Market presence (availability):

To make telecommunication accessible to the mass market, GP has set up its POS in the most convenient areas of the districts under the GP network. In the year GP has tremendously increase its POS from the previous year around 2095.

  • Skilled Human Resource:

The employees are young, dedicated and energetic. All of them are well educated at home or abroad, with both sexes (genders) and minority groups in Bangladesh being well represented.

  • Access to the widest rural distribution network through Grameen Bank:

To day 200000 villages are connected and women, linked to the renowned Micro Credit Program through Grameen Bank, have become borrowers and owners of the Village Phone. The Program offers mobile service to over 60 million people in remote areas. On average a Village Phone Operator earns nearly 3.000 USD a year, nearly three times more than the average per capita income.

  • Value added service:

GrameenPhone Limited offers fun and entertaining contents through useful and efficient services. Anyone can also communicate and share information, as well as access to internet and data services via his/her mobile phone. Anyone can personalize his/her phone with cool wallpapers, ring tones, games, and infotainment and stay connected to your loved ones via SMS & MMS which allow you to send photo, video messaging.

Weaknesses

  • Weak Coverage:

GP has weak coverage in some districts like Netrokona, Naogaon, Pirojpur, Maulvibazar, and Sylhet so on. As the subscribers’ complaints, they can not communicate effectively in these weak networks.

  • Billing System:

The abrupt barring of connection due to a complicated billing system confuses the customers. Such hassles lead to an unfavorable impression   for the company.

  • Network Limitation:

Call drop, congestion, and poor connectivity with BTCL, poor EDGE/GPRS connectivity speed due to network congestion, result in bad image of the company.

  • Some value-added services are not successful:

-Voice Mail service due to language barrier, lack of promotions, lack of know how about interactive services and also because people are reluctant to speak to a machine.

-Usage of Short Message Service is still low due to lack of promotion, lack of knowledge of English, unawareness of handset configuration.

-Difficulty in Configuration, handset barrier and slow connectivity are hampering WAP’s popularity.

-Lack of co-ordination is used as an excuse not to solve problems

  • Complicated price structure:  

Post-paid call charge is very complicated to the customers. Even though per unit call charge is mentioned, sometimes customers get confused about their bill.

  • Complicated promotional offer:  

Different promotional offers are very much complicated, e.g churn back campaign, which increased customer dissatisfaction level high.

  • No long-term Distribution/Channel strategy:

GrameenPhone has not yet taken initiatives of its long-term distribution channel strategy. GP’s current market expansion with its short-term distribution channel goal meet it present requirement. But for its future market expansion and to reach its new segment of customers more effectively in efficient manner GP needs to take bold steps from now on.

  • Commercial ads are not too creative:

GP’s commercial ads are not that much appealing its prospective customers compare to its competitors. Valuable features are not focused in its ad. GP does not show its competitive advantages through its ads whereas its competitor such as City cell has done it effectively

Opportunities

  • Land Phone:

Bangladesh Government has already started to provide license to private sector to setup land phone. GrameenPhone Limited has a very good reputation in the country. They can capitalize this goodwill and take initiatives to enter the market of land phone.

  • Attractive market:

Bangladesh is a highly attractive market for mobile services due to its large and highly concentrated population, low penetration of telecommunications services, and high growth in mobile subscribers. With approximately 140 million inhabitants, it ranks as the eighth most populous country in the world and is among the most densely populated. Bangladesh is served by only 1million fixed lines and has only approximately 4.5 million mobile subscribers. While mobile services have been available in Bangladesh since 1991, growth in this sector has only accelerated in recent years. This market has still low penetration rate but still there is opportunity to increase high penetration rate.

  • Huge need for telecom services:

Current market growth rate of the telecommunication is significant which arises a great opportunity for the cellular phone companies to grow rapidly. The demand of the cell phone is still increasing. Variety services with most lucrative features made this sector more and more attractive day by day. Recent year’s growth reflects the enormous potential for the development to telecommunications and information technology in the country.

  • Declining prices for handsets

The prices of the mobile sets are declining in Bangladesh that makes a easy gate way for the customers to use cell phones. It will create an opportunity for the telecommunication industry by getting large number of customers. There are some others opportunities, which can be important factors for GrammenPhone, are: Economic growth of Bangladesh, new and better interconnection agreement and future privatization of the fixed network

 Threats

  • Global Companies:

As global companies like AT&T, BPL are operating in India, they might think to enter the Bangladeshi market with higher capital. If so, it will be a huge threat for GP.

  • City cell  and Robi’s Recent Expansion Plan:

Among the existing competitors, City Cell and Robi are planning to develop country wide network. This can also divide the advantage that is currently enjoyed by GrameenPhone alone.

  • More rigid government regulations:

Government rigid regulations and policy narrows the direction of the cellular phone companies. GrameenPhone Limited has to go through lengthy government procedures to take permission to launch a new service package. The imposed increased taxes for SIM price will slower the growth of this industry.

  • Threats of potential new entrants:

There are rumors in the market that some companies are trying to enter the market with cheaper technology. Potential new entrants can get into the telecommunication market with cost effective approach and take off market shares. New domestic and foreign cellular phone companies can start telecommunication network business. As Bangladeshi people are very much price sensitive, it might cause serious problem for GP.

  • BTCL has reduced NWD and ISD call charge:

Recently BTCL has reduced its NWD and ISD call charges to promote LAN phone usages. This has affected the mobile phone industry and significantly reflected in the revenue earning of BTCL.

  • Inadequate interconnection with BTCL:

From the beginning GrameenPhone Limited is facing inadequate interconnection with BTCL. As a result its interconnectivity network does not perform up to the mark.

  • National catastrophes:

National catastrophe may severely hamper the networking system. GP’s towers at different location are affected by natural calamities.

  • Price war:

All the five companies are fighting to get the market share by cutting price of the mobile phone connection. All competitors are lowering the unit price and also providing pulse facility like Robi provides pulse at the thirty seconds of the first minute. So the market is fighting with each other with their pricing strategy

Social Commitment of GrameenPhone

Orphanage Project

The orphanage is situated at Vatara Bazar, Baridhara, Dhaka. At present 75 children are residing there. Twenty five staffs are employed for overall look after of the children. The children are aged between 4 and 15 years The orphanage is a project of CDP (Children development program) and is funded by Telenor, the major(51%) share holder of GP.

 Dhaka Shishu Hospital Project

 GrameenPhone has sponsored one of the wards of Dhaka Shishu Hospital (ward #4) with various utility facilities like Pure Drinking Water, providing Bed linen, utensils, mosquito net etc.

 Against Dengue:

A) Awareness buildup:

i) To create awareness against deadly diseases like dengue GP has published articles dealing with the preventive and protective measure of this disease in their monthly newsletter and in form of booklets.

ii) GP has also provided in field and in house training to create awareness among people of different classes of society.

iii) GP uses its sources in its regional offices in Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna and Sylhet to create awareness against this disease in those cities.

 B) Spraying against Mosquito:

With collaboration to Dhaka City Corporation GP has sprayed aerosol for destroying mosquito in areas like Fourth class employees colony of D.C.C in Gulshan1,Gp office premises and in locality of Gulshan circle 1 & 2.

C) Cleanliness Program:

GP has sponsored Cleanliness programs in its own locality and in slam areas of Gulshan to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and for healthy environment.

 Awareness about EPI diseases

GrameenPhone has extended its hand of cooperation in generating awareness about EPI diseases by helping UNICEF in arranging various programs in this regard. GP sponsored several programs involving children and parents with UNICEF like seminars, art competitions etc.

Safe Motherhood and Infant Care Project:

GrameenPhone Safe Motherhood & Infant Care Project is thus designed to ensure free, yet quality, safe motherhood and infant care services to poor mothers and their infants throughout the country. It also aims to assist in necessary infrastructure development and extension of basic healthcare services, especially in the hard-to-reach and remote areas.

Free Eye Camps:

Bangladesh is a signatory of the VISION 2020: Right to Sight, a global initiative jointly launched in 1999 by WHO and IAPB to eradicate blindness from the world by the year 2020. Hence, with a mission to combat blindness, GrameenPhone, in partnership with Sight savers International, organizes free eye-care camps in different parts of the country where eye-care services are not readily available

 Fight against HIV/AIDS:

One of the eight Millennium Development Goals for Bangladesh is to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS by 2015. Hence, GrameenPhone is committed to work closely with Bangladesh Government and concerned development agencies to achieve that target, with the aim to raise awareness and advocate for necessary policy reforms on HIV/AIDS through different communication channels.

Awareness about Asthma:

Collaborated with Asthma Association of Bangladesh GrameenPhone has arranged rallies and seminars to create awareness about prevention & treatment of Asthma.

Awareness about Health & Hygiene:

 GrameenPhone HSE team has worked extensively to create awareness about personal & community health & hygiene. GP has conducted seminars, rallies, in field and in house training in this regard in its Head office, regional offices and other organizations like EC & Nordic Club. First aid, safety in working place, clean environment etc topics is generally discussed in these awareness programs.

Blood Donation Program:

One of prominent social contribution of GP is in the field of Voluntary blood donation. GrameenPhone has sponsored and directly participated in various voluntary Blood Donation Programs around the country with voluntary blood donation organizations like Shandhani and Red Cresent Society.

Each year GP arranges a yearly HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) week. One of  the regular programs of HSE week is blood donation camp in GP Head office & regional offices. Moreover round the year GP helps in arranging voluntary Blood Donation camps and works through seminars and camps to produce awareness between mass people about blood donation.

 GrameenPhone maintains a database containing the information about blood groups of all the employees. When any employee or his family or friend needs blood, he can contact HSE personnel and get contacted with the persons having the required blood group.

Furthermore in February 2003 GrameenPhone has launched the new “Push-Pull” value-added service. “Push-Pull” service provides to access different kind of information. If a subscriber sends a Text Message (SMS) to a specific number writing a key word in the message, then he/she will get the requested information instantly. For example, if a subscriber writes Blood in his text message and send it to 2000, instantly he/she will get the names and telephone numbers of major Blood Bank services. If a subscriber writes TAXI in his text message and send it to 2000, instantly he/she will get the names and telephone numbers of major Taxicab services.

Plantation Program:

GrameenPhone has under taken plantation program in its office premises in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi & Khulna City as a part of their social awareness & responsibility. GP has also planted plants in the road side in areas like Gulshan, Baridhara etc.

GrameenPhone Products

GP has two basic products Post-Paid and Pre-Paid and based on segment  different product are available into the market. All products offer has great start-up benefits, flat tariff to any mobile, reduced Friend & Family tariffs and much more. With Post-Paid, GrameenPhone has brought a first of its kind, innovative services called SMS roaming. With this service customers can send and receive SMS while roaming abroad. Customers can also avail lower ISD rates to 25 countries. Through Pre-Paid, GrameenPhone has brought a unique and innovative feature called Group-talk. Customers can create a group of 3 Pre-Paid members and talk with each other in minimum rate.

 Product and start-up price:

ProductsNew SIM Prices
Smile – Pre-PaidTk. 300
Djuice – Pre-PaidTk. 300
Aapon – Pre-PaidTk. 300
Shohoj – Pre-PaidTk. 300
Bondhu – Pre-PaidTk. 300
New djuice – Pre-PaidTk. 300
GPPP & VP – Pre-PaidTk. 300
Xplore – Post-PaidTk. 650

Business Solution – Pre-Paid

Tk. 300

Business Solution – Post-paid

Tk. 650
Internet Sim – Pre-PaidTk. 150
Internet Sim Post-paidTk. 200
BPOFree
EKOTA300

Offer and Package Tariff:

Pre-Paid:

GP Prepaid Product Name Æ

Smile

Schedule

Time

On net

Off net

Morning Time

8am – 11.59am

BDT 1.50

BDT 2

Special Time

12pm – 3.59pm

BDT 0.49

Evening

4pm – 11:59pm

BDT 1.50

Night Time

12am – 7.59am

BDT 0.49

BDT 1

Call Establishment Charge

N/A

No. of F&F

3 @ BDT 0.49

GP to ISD

As per BTCL rate

 Pulse

30 Sec

F&F, Special Time & Night Time

60 Sec

 SMS Charge / 160character

On net

Off net

 GP to GP & other operator

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

 SMS Charge for F&F

BDT 0.50

 SMS ISD (Selected Operators)

BDT 2.5

Aapon

On net

Off net

BDT 1.25

BDT 1.49

BDT 0.49

BDT 1.25

BDT 0.49

BDT 0.99

BDT 0.09 / Call

3 @ BDT 0.49

As per BTCL rate

60 Sec

60 Sec

On net

Off net

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

BDT 2.5

GP Prepaid Product Name Æ

Bondhu

Schedule

Time

On net

Off net

Morning Time

8am – 11.59am

BDT 0.99

Special Time

12pm – 3.59pm

Evening

4pm – 11:59pm

Night Time

12am – 7.59am

Call Establishment Charge

BDT 0.30 / Call

No. of F&F

7 @ BDT 0.49

GP to ISD

As per BTCL rate

Pulse

60 Sec

F&F, Special Time & Night Time

60 Sec

SMS Charge / 160character

On net

Off net

GP to GP & other operator

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

SMS Charge for F&F

BDT 0.50

SMS ISD (Selected Operators)

BDT 2.5

Shohoj

On net

Off net

BDT 0.79

BDT 0.30 / Call

N/A

As per BTCL rate

60 Sec

60 Sec

On net

Off net

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

N/A

BDT 2.5

GP Prepaid Product Name Æ

Baadhon

Schedule

Time

On net

Off net

Morning Time

8am – 11.59am

BDT 0.79

Special Time

12pm – 3.59pm

Evening

4pm – 11:59pm

Night Time

12am – 7.59am

Call Establishment Charge

BDT 0.30 / Call

No. of F&F

N/A

GP to ISD

As per BTCL rate

Pulse

60 Sec

F&F, Special Time & Night Time

60 Sec

SMS Charge / 160character

On net

Off net

GP to GP & other operator

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

SMS Charge for F&F

N/A

SMS ISD (Selected Operators)

BDT 2.5

Product Name Æ

Djuice

Djuice Adjusted

Schedule

Time

On net

Off net

On net

Off net

Morning Time

8am – 11.59am

BDT 2

BDT 2

BDT 1.35

BDT 1.49

Special Time

12pm – 3.59pm

BDT 0.49

BDT 0.49

Evening

4pm – 11:59pm

BDT 2

BDT 1.35

Night Time

12am – 7.59am

BDT 0.49

BDT 1

BDT 0.49

BDT 0.66

Call Establishment Charge

N/A

BDT 0.09 / Call

Community (Dj to Dj)

BDT 0.49

BDT 0.49

No. of F&F

2 @ BDT 0.49

3 @ BDT 0.49

GP to ISD

As per BTCL rate

As per BTCL rate

 Pulse

30 Sec

60 Sec

D2D, F&F, Special Time & Night Time

60 Sec

60 Sec

SMS Charge

On net

Off net

On net

Off net

SMS Charge for F&F

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

Dj to GP & other operator

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

SMS ISD (Selected Operators)

BDT 2.5

BDT 2.5

PCO Product Name Æ

Village Phone

GP Public Phone

Schedule

Time

On net

Off net

On net

Off net

Morning Time

8am – 11.59am

BDT 0.99

BDT 0.99

BDT 0.99

BDT 0.99

Special Time

12pm – 3.59pm

BDT 0.49

BDT 0.49

Evening

4pm – 7:59am

BDT 0.99

BDT 0.99

Community

BDT 0.75 (30sec Pulse)

N/A

GP to ISD

As per BTCL rate

As per BTCL rate

Specialty

Prepaid

Prepaid & Postpaid

Call Establishment Charge

N/A

N/A

Pulse

1 Sec

1 Sec

 SMS Charge

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

 SMS ISD (Selected Operators)

BDT 2.5

BDT 2.5

GP Postpaid Product Name Æ

Xplore

Schedule

Time

On net

Off net

Morning Time

8am – 11.59am

BDT 1.30

BDT 1.30

Special Time

12pm – 3.59pm

BDT 0.49

Evening

4pm – 7:59am

BDT 1.30

No. of F&F

4 @ BDT 0.49

GP to ISD

As per BTCL rate

 

Call Establishment Charge

N/A

Pulse

1 Sec / FnF 60 Sec

SMS Charge

BDT 0.50

SMS Charge for F&F

BDT 0.50

SMS ISD (Selected Operators)

BDT 2.5

 

 Access Fee/Line Rent

Bill Cycle

BDT 50 / Month

Old – 6 or 21

Default Credit Limit BDT 500

* If Airtime usage exceeds 450tk (ex. VAT) then Line Rent will be Not applicable from 25th March, 2008

* New – 10 or 24

* Free for those subscribers older than10 years (before 31st Decmber’1997)

Newly reconnected line’s – 10 or 24

Product Name Æ

EKOTA

Schedule

Time

Schedule

Time

On net

Offnet

Business Hour

9am – 11.59am

 Business Hour

8am – 11.59am

BDT 1

BDT 1

Special Time

12pm – 3.59pm

 Special Time

12pm – 3.59pm

BDT 0.49

Business Hour

4pm – 5:59pm

 Business Hour

4pm – 11:59pm

BDT 1

Private Hour

6pm – 11:59pm

 Night Time

12am – 7.59pm

BDT 0.49

Night Time

12am – 8.59am

No. of F&F

3 @ BDT 0.49

CUG

BDT 0.49 (Ekota to Ekota)

Call Establishment Charge

N/A

GP to ISD

As per BTCL rate

Pulse

60 Sec

F&F, Special Time & Night Time

60 Sec

SMS Charge

On net

Off net

F&F

BDT 0.50

GP to GP & Off net

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

SMS ISD (Selected Operators)

BDT 2.5

 

Product Name Æ

Bangladesh Post Office

Schedule

Time

On net

Off net

Morning Time

8am – 11.59am

BDT 0.99

BDT 0.99

Special Time

12pm – 3.59pm

BDT 0.49

Evening

4pm – 7:59am

BDT 0.99

Community

BDT 0.25 (60sec Pulse)

GP to ISD

As per BTCL rate

Specialty

Prepaid ( Voice + ERS)

Call Establishment Charge

N/A

Pulse

1 Sec

 SMS Charge

BDT 0.50

BDT 0.50

 SMS ISD (Selected Operators)

BDT 2.5

 

GP Postpaid Product Name Æ

For Corporate & SME, Journalist Package, BS Channel Phone

Time Schedule & Charges-OutgoingOn net

Off net

B. hour: 9am – 11.59amBDT 1.00

BDT 1.20

Special hour: 12 pm – 3.59 pm

BDT 0.49

BDT 1.20

B. hour: 4pm – 5.59pmBDT 1.00

BDT 1.20

Pr. Hour: 6.00pm – 9.00amBDT 1.30

BDT 1.30

FnF: 3 FnF no

BDT 0.49 (2 FnF)

BDT 0.80 (1 FnF)

CUGBDT 0.80

N/A

 

Others Tarrif:

Other Charges

Tariff

Hot Line (121)

1.00 TK(with VAT)

Any IVR & Push Pull

BDT 2

Voice SMS

BDT 2/Min

Voice Mail

Normal Airtime Charge

Itemized Bill

BDT 100 (Ex. vat)/Month

 

 Other special benefits

  SMS Roaming: GP will stands, once again, as a pioneer in providing quality services to the valued customers by providing innovative service like ‘SMS Roaming’. By using SMS roaming subscribers can send & receive SMS while traveling abroad without the full international roaming service. No additional security deposit will be required for this service.

  Pre Activated EDGE (P1) Services: EDGE P1 will be activated in your new product. Just you have to send SMS for your MMS, WAP and Internet settings as before.

Customer Care:

Bill Payment & Credit Policy:

  • FlexiLoad

Pay your bill from anywhere using FlexiLoad ranging from Tk. 50 to Tk. 50,000 per day.

  • Banks

Also you can pay the bill to 22 GrameenPhone authorized banks with more than 500 branches across the country.

  • Credit Policy

The credit limit is decided upon considering customers’ payment behavior, usage, network age, frequency of bar/unbar, etc. Current Credit Limit is- 500 + security deposit (if any)

  • Single Hot Line i.e. 121

24Hrs a day, 365 days a year you have access to our single hotline

Dedicated Customer Service

  • Customer service with highly trained customer managers to provide all kinds of customer services for 365 days.
  • 20 GPCs and over 600 GPSDs operate to attend to any customer service related activities.
  • 2000+ well trained Customer Managers are there to extend services to customers.
  • Our customer managers will also proactively call the user to provide their assistance.
  • Our Customer Managers even go to the subscribers’ door steps to serve their need.

Service Provided by GrameenPhone

GrameenPhone along with its various products also provides variety of services. Only GrameenPhone subscribers can avail it. These services can be categorized by Value Added Services and After Sale services. Furthermore, GrameenPhone also offer GSM features.

 Value Added Services

Value Added Services (VAS) offer subscribers a service which can create value in subscribers mind and add value to the company’s service. These services generate revenue for the company. VAS are sometime created to meet subscribers demand and sometime to create demand of new services. Value added service also include non-voice services where the company concentrating to make subscribers adapt and increase usages, because the company knows one day voice service will reach to its saturation and then non-voice services will keep continuous growth of the company’s annual revenue. Hence, the bundle of VAS is a great resource for the company to generate revenue.

At present the available VAS can be categorized into the following four ways:

 Push- Pull Services

From the word push and pull this service can be defined as a service in which a subscriber push buttons of his/her mobile set to ask for a query and pull it. Push Pull is a SMS based service which is launched in January 2003. Instead of asking query to the call centers subscribers can directly pull information by sending SMS to some selective numbers provided by GrameenPhone.

It is Text SMS based service. Subscribers can pull necessary information only by sending SMS writing specific words. For example, for cricket updates a subscriber has to write “crick” and send it to 2002. Both post-paid and pre-paid customers can enjoy this service with common air Tariff 2Tk for each query. Push pull service offers Bill general emergency query, News, Emergency, Entertainment, Standard & Chartered Bank Account info, Destiny 2000 Agent info, Vanik Account info, Bank Asia Account info, Quiz (Prothom-Alo & Daily Star), ring tone and logo download. Except Ring tone and logo download all the push pull services charges 2Tk/min. Logo and Ring tone download charges Tk10 for each download.

Data Services

Fax and Data Service

This service Allow subscribers’ mobile phone to attach to a computer to send faxes or transfer data. One can use this service even when subscribers are on the move within GP’s coverage area. Currently it is available only to corporate clients. No need to have connection with a fixed line.

Both post-paid and pre-paid subscribers can avail this service. Post-paid subscribers have to pay 150Tk. Monthly access fee and 2Tk/min for Fax and Data transfer.

10.1.2.2. WAP

WAP stands for “Wireless Application Protocol”. This is an open global specification that empowers mobile users with wireless devices to easily access to various Internet information and services instantly. It provides the market with data (non-voice) services available to many more participants-anywhere anytime than a personal computer. WAP bridges the gap between the mobile world and the Internet as well as corporate intranets and offers the ability to deliver an unlimited range of mobile value-added services to subscribers-independent of their network, bearer and terminal. Mobile subscribers can access the same wealth of information from a pocket-sized device as they can from the desktop. WAP is a global standard and is not controlled by any single company. Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola and Unwired Planet founded the WAP forum in the summer of 1997.

Key benefits for a subscriber’s of WAP

  • Easy to use.
  • The possibility of having personalized services.
  • Portability. You do not have to entail separate investment for WAP.
  • Access to a wide variety of services on a competitive market.
  • Fast, convenient and efficient access to services.

Through this service, subscribers:

Þ Browse the Internet,

ÞSend E-mail,

ÞChat on the Net,

ÞDo On-line Shopping.

10.1.2.3. EDGE:

EDGE stands for Enhanced data rates for global evolution. This is the new service which is actually enhanced data transfer. It contains Internet, WAP and MMS. WAP and internet provides website access and download contents (picture, logo) through mobile phone. MMS helps to send and receive picture massage through mobile. GrameenPhone offers seven packages of EDGE, which are P1 to P7. for all the package FUP (fare usages policy) applicable.

Charges for different package:

Applicable Charge for EDGE Packages

Tariff

EGDE P1

Unlimited for a day

BDT 20/Day+VAT

EGDE P2

Monthly Unlimited

BDT 850+VAT

EGDE P4

Internet 150 MB for a Day

BDT 60+VAT

EGDE P5

3GB Plan/Month

BDT 700+VAT

EGDE P6

1GB Economy Pack/Month

BDT 300+VAT

EGDE P7

Minipack 15 MB/15Days

BDT 29+VAT

 Some special service

Instead of decreasing tariff, GrameenPhone has offered some special service to meet the subscribers’ pressure of reducing tariff.

 Group Talk

This is the most attractive feature of pre-paid. In the feature, any pre-paid subscriber can send SMS invitation to any two persons (type group 017XXXXXXXX, 017MMMMMMMM and send to 6000) for joining his or her group. By doing so, all 3 within the group will enjoy the benefits of group pricing by talking @ Tk.0.49/minute.The two chosen numbers should neither be  FNF to each other nor to the person inviting them. A subscriber can end his or her group membership only after 60 days (two months). For this, he/she needs to type “cancel” and send a sms to the port 6000

*15% VAT is applicable.

 Some important features

SMILE also offers the following features like:

  • GSM features:  Subscribers can avail all the GSM features (Caller ID, Call divert, Call barring, Call Hold, Call waiting, call conferencing, call forwarding).
  • Edge.
  • Welcome Tune.
  • Voice SMS (IVR based entertainment, wap based chat service).
  • Balance Transfer.
  • Electronic Recharge (flexi load).

Short Message Service (SMS)

SMS is the most popular Value added service of GrameenPhone. It is popular because it is cheap. But SMS still many subscribers do not know how to send SMS. SMS in mobile acts like an advanced pager. Subscribers can send and receive text messages of up to 160 characters for 1 SMS, directly from one GP mobile to another GP mobile or any other operator’s mobile.

Voice Mail Service (VMS)

VMS is a unique answering machine. It provides subscribers with a personal electronic mail box in voice mail center. It records subscriber’s personalized greetings as well as stores incoming voice messages. It records incoming voice messages if subscribers are:

  • Outside GP’s coverage area or
  • Busy or
  • Simply switched off your mobile

It provides 24-hour automatic secretarial service. For the caller the destination is always available and reachable.

 Ring tone and welcome tune

These are the services provided to GP subscribers through content providers. Charge for a ring tone is 10-15 taka. Welcome tune is a service which also charges 15 taka and there is a monthly access fee (30 taka) for that.

 Friends and Family

Friends and family is a special feature is given all post-paid and pre-paid subscribers other than some packages. It gives the subscribers to select 3 to 7 numbers (depends upon package) for the following next thirty days. In this selected numbers the subscribers can call Tk 0.49/min for 24 Hours. After thirty days the subscribers can change the number or can keep the previous numbers. To avail this option the subscribers has to SMS this numbers to 2800 writing friends and family numbers one after another for post paid and for pre-paid subscriber has send sms to 2888. Again this will charge regular SMS tariff. After sending the SMS it will take maximum next 72 hours to activate the number.

International Roaming

GrameenPhone became the first mobile phone operator in the country to offer its subscribers the International Roaming facility from March 1999. The number of GP International Roaming partner networks increased rapidly from 12 in1996 to 56 in December 2000. And now GrameenPhone Limited has 365 International Roaming partner networks spread across 115 countries in four continents.

 The International Roaming facility is a useful service for the GP subscribers who travel abroad and subscribers of the partner networks who visit Bangladesh. It has also become an additional source of revenue for the company. On average International Roamers generate Tk11293 per month. GrameenPhone Xplore (ISD) subscribers can use their mobile phones in the countries where GP has partner networks. The subscribers of the partner networks can also use their mobile phones in Bangladesh. Xplore (with ISD) subscribers can avail the international roaming service if they are holders of International Credit Cards (Foreign currency MasterCard issued by NBL in Bangladesh, American Express Card or any other master/visa/mestro card from anywhere in the world). Security deposits and other terms and condition apply to avail the international roaming service.

Average Revenue per SubsTk.11293
Monthly Average Revenue generatedTk.10,420,000

 Short brief on International Roaming:

International Roaming is the ability to use your own GSM phone number in another GSM network (another country).

With International Roaming facility GP subscribers have the ability to make and receive calls whilst traveling to other countries having GSM network provided GP has a commercial operation with that network operator.

The unique roaming features of GSM allow cellular subscribers to use their services in any GSM service area in the world in which their provider has a roaming agreement.

 FlexiLOAD

GrameenPhone Limited is introducing Electronic Recharge System named Flexi LOAD – an easy and flexible way to recharge and balance transfer from GP pre-paid to GP pre-paid accounts from April 28, 2005. With the introduction of this facility, GrameenPhone’s valued pre-paid subscribers will get the freedom to recharge their pre-paid account with any amount starting from Tk.10 to Tk.10, 000. Postpaid subscribers also get this facility afterward. They can pay their bill from Tk. 50 to Tk. 50000 to any GrameenPhone Centers (GPC) and various Dealer shops.

On 28th April 2005 Flexi LOAD have launched in Dhaka, Chittagong, and Khulna. It was available in 42 POS on that day and was available to ALL GP Sales Centers from the 1st day (28-Apr-2005). After first week of launching, another 300 POS was added in all regions.

To recharge pre-paid account through Flexi LOAD, a subscriber has to visit any of the nearest Flexi LOAD retailers of GrameenPhone, or GrameenPhone Centers. Upon choosing any amount between Tk.10 to Tk.10,000, the subscriber will make the payment to the retailer, and the retailer will instantly recharge the subscriber’s account  from his mobile handset.  After a successful recharge, the subscriber will receive instant confirmation on the recharge on his/her mobile handset through SMS.

This new system gave the GrameenPhone subscribers the flexibility to choose from a wide range of recharge amounts and validity for recharging their pre-paid account. All pre-paid and postpaid subscribers will enjoy this Flexi LOAD service. Along with Flexi LOAD, the pre-paid scratch cards is also be available at the market.

 Information Service

Voice/Speech based service

 For the first time GP introduces Hot-code dialing, which allows subscribers to access directly to the desired information without going through the step-by-step menu system. A subscriber can call the number to image center from his/her to get information like billing, service features, tariff, and usages detail information. Subscribers can avail this service 24 hours a day. There are both Human agent and interactive voice response (IVR).  Call center service charges 1Tk/min for both post-paid and pre-paid subscribers. Call center has the following hot lines for the prospective subscribers. GP has introduced only 1 hotline for all type of subscribers of GP which is 121. It has few segments like- subscribers can choose the language and type of service based on his/her requirements.

 Info Center, GPSD and GPC:

Each GrameenPhone Center (GPC) has info center, which provides various information about recent offered package price, tariff and after sales services related information. The only difference of info center and hot line is, hot line provides information over phone and info center provides information face to face.

More than 600 GP Service Desk have been opened around the country to make customer service more easily accessible. In addition, more than 20 GrameenPhone Centers have been opened to provide all sales and after-sales services under a single roof. The GPC remain open from 9am-7pm everyday, including all holidays. This is a new concept for Bangladesh and a new project of GP. It is based on the concept of one stop solution. One can buy handset, connection, scratch card and also can get service from the same place.

 After Sales Services

After sales services is after sales subscription services. All GP subscribers can take after sale service from GrameenPhone centers (GPC) regional CRC. After sales services includes reconnection, SIM replacement, product migration, Address change, sign change.

 Reconnection:

Pre-paid and post paid subscribers can get reconnection of their deactivate line. For reconnection subscribers has to apply in GrameenPhone Center with signature. And subscribers get free service for reconnection.

 Migration:

A post paid subscriber can migrate post paid to pre-paid, and a pre-paid subscriber can migrate pre-paid to post paid. For this subscribers have to pay migration fees. In case of migration from prepaid to postpaid and postpaid to prepaid the subscribers’ previous number will change. But in case of prepaid to prepaid or postpaid to postpaid the number will remain same.

SIM replacement:

If subscribers SIM is lost or damaged then the subscribers can take SIM any touch point. Again, for SIM replacement subscribers have to pay certain fees which are 100 taka.

Address change:

If post-paid subscribers’ billing address is changed then the subscriber can officially change address by applying to GPC. As soon as the subscribers address is changed, GrameenPhone give feedback to the subscribers by sending SMS and confirmation latter.

Sign Change:

After sale services is provided by verifying signature. If a subscriber wants to change signature then s/he can apply to replace old signature with new one.

 Transfer of ownership:

 If a subscribers wants to transfer his GP connection to other person(friend, relative or other), then there are some procedure which have to be followed. Both of them have to be present in GP customer point with their 2 copy of photograph, original subscription paper and ID card/driving license/passport/any kind of photo ID.

 GSM Features of GrameenPhone

 GrameenPhone subscribers enjoy the following GSM features without bearing any additional costs:

Caller ID:

Display of the phone number of an incoming call in your handset before the call is answered.

Call Waiting:

While talking to the first caller, you will hear a special tone informing you about the second call on the line. At that moment you can put the first caller on hold and talk to the second caller.

Call Conference:

Receiving calls from multiple callers can be supplemented by joining these multiple callers so as to enable them to talk to each other. You will be able to communicate with a group consisting of maximum five callers.

. Call Divert:

Call Divert lets you redirect or re-route your call to another GrameenPhone mobile or any other fixed (if you have BTTB connectivity) or mobile phone.

Call Barring:

Enables you to restrict certain types of calls to be made from your mobile. This feature is especially important for security purposes.

Products and services that have been successful

  • XPlore, the newest product of GrameenPhone retains its popularity through its full connectivity to all networks and having he feature of international roaming.
  • Smile prepaid and djuice, because of Low flat tariff and nationwide mobility, it’s a Pre-paid service, no monthly rent required and instant use due to pre-activation, no hassles of bill payment.
  • GP Public Phone (GPPP) because of low flat tariff, nationwide mobility, connectivity to other operator’s mobiles at cheapest rate from other operator.
  • Information Service through mobile because of easy access, interesting theme, and reasonable rate and for being new and innovative.
  • Village phone because of use of Grameen Bank’s borrower network and for having access to BTTB & ISD.

Products and services that have not been successful

  • Voice Mail service due to language barrier, lack of promotions, lack of know how about interactive services and also because people are reluctant to speak to a machine.
  • Usage of Short Message Service is still low due to lack of promotion, lack of knowledge of English, unawareness of handset configuration and un-ergonomic nature of keypad.
  • Difficulty in Configuration, handset barrier and slow connectivity are hampering EDGE popularity. In addition it is still under development.

Secondary Data retrieval and Analysis

. The Actual services receiving Scenario:

From the company subscriber’s service receiving archive I found, how many subscribers are actually receiving services provided by GrameenPhone. In the following section I have represented how many subscribers are receiving what services.

International Roaming

In the year inception in March, 1999 there was a few number of International roamer partner of GrameenPhone. In 2003 the total number of roaming partner was 194, in 65 countries. Then gradually GP has increased it roaming partner. Till June 2006, GP has 248 roaming partner across 91 countries. In 2006 there were only 678 international roaming subscribers then, it gradually increased to 1308 in 2007, total 2093 in 2008 and as of June, 2009 the total number of roamer subscribers stands to 3499.

Only Post-paid can take International roaming service. Out of 0.15 Million post paid subscribers only 3499 is a very small segment. Hence GrameenPhone has the opportunity to grab large number of post paid subscribers who regularly visit, travel abroad. And to grab the attention to the prospective customer GrameenPhone has take crucial awareness building campaign, promotion, effective advertisement and other publicity.

EDGE:

Though all GrameenPhone subscribers can use EDGE, only a few percent of GrameenPhone subscribers are using it. From the company achieve it is found that 0.12 million subscribers are using EDGE service (till Dec, 2006). And now 0.31 million subscribers are using EDGE, Again, it is a very small segment of total GP subscribers.

Still there is potentiality to increase the number of total EDGE users. For this GP has to take effective awareness building activities.

Friends and Family number:

Xplore post paid subscribers get the option to talk three friends and family number 24 hours at 0.49Tk./min which is comparatively low than regular tariff. Still, there are many subscribers who are not using F&F service. Out of .151 million postpaid subscribers approximately 0.3 million postpaid subscribers only are taking F&F services which is 67% of total postpaid subscribers.

 Some Secondary survey of subscribers Service awareness status:

Telemarketing team under customer service has undertaken some service aware building campaign through calling directly to GP subscribers. This team has already done campaign on International Roaming, Friends and Family (F&F), Value Added Services (VAS).

 Friends & Family campaign (From 13 Feb to 26 Feb)

In Friends & Family campaign Telemarketing team call to subscribers who do not have the F&F option activated and ask them whether the prospective customer aware about the F&F services,  and at the same time telling them how to activate it & the benefits of it.

Out of 2217 reachable customer only 1000 subscriber know about the F&F service the shows 45% in the graph above and 1217 subscribers do not know about this special service that shows 55%. It implies that most of the post paid subscribers are not aware about F& F.

Statistics of SolutionSubscriber’s Feedback
Call DispersionSubscriber’s AttitudeReceptive Scale
Successful2217Delighted122355%Very Interested140363%
Satisfied96043%Sounds Interesting56125%
Dissatisfied342%Not Interested25311%
Total 2217 2217 2217

 Again from the Subscribers Feedback after knowing about F & F we find that most of the subscribers i.e. out of 2217 subscriber 55% are delighted, 43% are satisfied and the remaining only 2% subscribers are dissatisfied with F&F service.

 And in the receptive scale we see that majority of subscribers are interested with F & F service and only 11% are not interested about it.

Friends & Family campaign for new subscriber (From 19 Feb to 23 Feb)

Informing the new subscribers who do not have the F&F option activated, telling them how to activate it & the benefits of it.

Statistics of SolutionSubscriber’s Feedback
Call DispersionSubscriber’s AttitudeReceptive Scale
Successful95Delighted7276%Very Interested

75

79%

Satisfied1718%Sounds Interesting

12

13%

Dissatisfied6

6%

Not Interested

8

8%

Total 95 95 95

Among the 95 reachable new subscribers 76% subscribers and 18% subscribers are delighted and the rest 6 subscribes are dissatisfied with F & F service. Again in the receptive scale majority of the 4 subscribers i.e. 75 and 12 subscribers are very interested and sound interested respectively.

Interpretation:

Now it can be said from the above finding that if GrameenPhone can increase the awareness of the subscribers, then it will help to deliver more subscribers to provide the already offered F&F service. This will definitely increase the satisfaction level of the subscribers.

Grameenphone Ltd

 Some are parts:

GrameenPhone Subscriber’s Service Awareness Status (Part 1)

GrameenPhone Subscriber’s Service Awareness Status (Part 2)