Internship report on Customer preference for using AKTEL Pre Paid Connection
Subject: Marketing | Topics:

Executive Summary

Bangladesh is a developing country of southern Asia. Mobile phone is becoming a very common measure of communication in our country. The number of mobile user is increasing day by day. It is a very attractive market for the mobile connection providers. Presently there are four companies in the market. Each trying to maintain and increase their market share. Among them AKTEL is one of the leading company in this sector. TMIB is a joint venture organization with A. K. Khan & Company and Telekom Malaysia, which is a leading telecommunication provider, operating its business in Bangladesh since 15 November 1997.

AKTEL is offering 3 prepaid products in the market. They are Standard, Mobile plus and Mobile link. Among them Mobile Link prepaid is their largest selling product. In this report it has been tried to explain why the subscribers prefer using AKTEL’S prepaid connection. The main objective of the report is to give an idea about the attributes for which the customers prefer this prepaid connection offered by AKTEL.

A descriptive research has been done to find out the objective mentioned above. The target population for the study was AKTEL prepaid subscribers of Uttra, Banani, Baridhara and Gulshan.  100 AKTEL Prepaid subscribers have been interviewed through a structured questionnaire for this report. Non- probability sample procedure has been used. The sampling unit was selected through Convenience Sampling, where the selection of the sampling unit is left primarily on the interviewer. Close ended question was used to collect the data from the respondent. The respondent responded under each attributes into a five point likert scale with “Strongly agree” resulting to a higher degree of satisfaction and with “Strongly disagree” resulting to a lower degree of satisfaction. Some demographic and spending pattern was asked for more in-depth interpretation of the respondent.

The analysis found that AKTEL’s main strength is their call charge within the pulse from the first minute and an effective coverage which is better than its competitors. They provide the widest coverage in the country. They also provide some other facilities among which off-peak hour system, and therefore 60% call charge reduce option is popular with the subscribers. But subscribers are not too satisfied with their network solution and the inter – zonal call charge when they talk. They think the inter- zonal call charge is high than the other competitors.

Customers are more or less satisfied with the facilities they are offering with this product. Their main focus is to increase network coverage so that it can reach all parts of the country. But they can improve their position by offering the subscribers with more facilities especially to improve their network solution and to reduce call charge in the peak hour simultaneously.

1. Introduction:

Mobile phone is a very common source of communication in these days. Most of the people are using mobile phone in the city and the urban areas robustly. At present, four different companies are providing mobile phone connections in Bangladesh. In compare to the big population it is becoming a huge market for mobile phone service companies. Every company is trying to provide as much facilities as possible to do marketing campaign in many ways they have available in their hand. TM International (Bangladesh) Limited is formed a huge demand in this sector. The company known as AKTEL across the country has more than one million subscribers both in prepaid and postpaid forms. Between them prepaid packages sold out as three times as in the other forms of subscription.

. In order to determine the reason for the purchase of prepaid connection AKTEL has decided to come up with a research through my internship in order to determine the factors for using prepaid connection.

1.1 Origin of the Report:

Each professional degree needs practical knowledge of the respective field of discipline to be fruitful. Our BBA program also has an internship program, relating to the exchange of theoretical knowledge into the real life practical situation. The report entitled “Customer preference for using AKTEL Pre Paid Connection” originated from the partial fulfillment of the internship program. The main purpose of the preparation of the report is due to the partial fulfillment of the internship program period of the BBA Program conducted by the school of Business, AsianUniversity of Bangladesh.

During the internship program, I was under the supervision and guidance of Lt.Col. Khairul Alam, Director, Student Affairs, School of Business, AUB.

Moreover, during the attachment to AKTEL, I was under the supervision and guidance of Mr. Anis Farooq, Deputy Manager, Sales & Marketing Division.

1.2 Objectives:

The General objective of the study is to provide an overview of learning of the intern during the internship program and fulfill the internship requirement. Beside the general objective, the report can be categorized into main objective and specific objectives. The objectives behind this report are mentioned below:

Main Objective:

The main objective of this study is to prepare an internship report (which is a partial requirement of the under graduation program) on the specified topic working within an organization implementing the knowledge that have been gathered over the past few years at the Asian University of Bangladesh (AUB).

Specific Objectives:

The specific objectives of this report are as follows:

  • To understand the reasons behind the preferences of subscribers for using pre paid connection of AKTEL.
  • To identify the spending patterns of pre paid customers.

1.3 Methodology:

This report is a descriptive one, which was administered by collecting primary and secondary data. Descriptive Research has an important objective: gives description of something marketing characteristics of function (Malhotra, 2001) and also the description of phenomenon or characteristic associated with an object population (who, what, when, where and how of a topic, Copper, 2001).

The report tried to evaluate the customer preference on prepaid connection, why the customers use, like this connection. Before going in to the deep study, conceptual structure visualized under which the whole study was conducted.

In preparing a report about the customers preference is a difficult and complicated task and no single method is appropriate for preparing the report. For this reason, a number of procedures have followed to prepare a meaningful report. The methodology of the task can be depicted as follows:

1.3.1    Sources of data:

This study covered two types of data, which are:

• Primary data

• Secondary data

Primary Data:

Primary data will be collected through a structured questionnaire, constructed specially for this report.

Secondary Data:

Going through different documents and papers developed by the company personnel and by others are the sources of secondary data.

 

1.3.2    Collection procedure of data:

Personal interview technique was the primary tool used in collecting information.   Interview with the Customer have done through questionnaire in order to discuss about the related matters before preparing the report. Managers and officers of AKTEL from different divisions were the main sources of secondary data.

 

1.3.3      Analysis of Data:

Collected data are analyzed by using percentages, graphs to draw the conclusion. All the data have shown in tabular form.

1.3.4      Sampling Plan and Sample Size:

Study population:

The first step of the sampling design is to define the study population. Due to time restriction and other limitations, the survey will only focus into subscribers of Uttra, Banani, Gulshan and Baridhara. The sample area has been selected on the basis of organization’s interest.

Sampling frame:

As there is no concrete list or number of pre-paid subscriber in the areas which the researcher has mentioned, the sample frame will be random selection. The researcher will stand in front of any shopping center and pick any one who fulfills the criteria to be a sample.

Sampling Method:

To investigate the factors for customer’s preference, Non-probability Sampling Procedure has been used.  The sampling unit was selected through Convenience Sampling: where the selection of the sampling unit is left primarily on the interviewer (Malhotra, 2001). The reason behind choosing Convenience Sampling is many but here most importantly, there is no appropriate structure or framework that can aid to select the sample.  Farther, these procedures are both time saving and inexpensive.

Sample size:

The total sample size for the study will be 100. The researcher will peak 25 respondents from each area. Thus the total sample size for the study is 100 AKTEL prepaid subscribers.

1.3.5 Data Gathering Method:

Close ended question will be used to collect the data from the respondent. The respondent will respond under each attributes into a five point likert scale with “Strongly agree” resulting to a higher degree of satisfaction and with “Strongly disagree” resulting to a lower degree of satisfaction. Some demographic and spending pattern question will be in the questionnaire for more in-depth interpretation of the respondent.

1.3.6 Pre-testing:

The originally develop questionnaire will be pre-tested in order with few dummy respondent to ensure the quality of the questionnaire in terms of preciseness, conciseness, objectivity and understandability of the questions.

1.3.7 Data Collection Method:

The data will be collected through questionnaire survey. If the respondent is uneducated, then the interviewer himself will fill up the questionnaire based on the respondent answer.

1.3.8 Coding, Tabulation and Analysis Procedure:

The response of the respondent will be entered into the computer for tabulation and analysis. Microsoft Excel will be used to analyze the data.

1.4          Limitations:

The study is not free from some practical limitations. Following limitations have faced during the study and the time of working & data collection:

  • Time is the main limitation for my study. Due to unavailability of sufficient time, the researcher will not be able to do survey among all of the sample size. That’s why the findings of the research will not be fully but partially true.
  • Work load during the internship program at the work place was also a barrier to prepare this report.
  • Due to lack of practical experience, some errors might be occurred during the study. Therefore maximum efforts have given to avoid mistakes.

Time line for the Research:

October 2004-November 2004 (in Bangladesh)

Beginning of literature review, formulating research objective, conducting introductory chapter including detailed context of the study as well as development of research design.

December 2004-January 2005 (in Bangladesh)

Data collection, emphasizing on the methodological part as its initial stage and primary data analysis and preparing data presentation.

February 2005- March 2004 (in Bangladesh)

Preparing the report and prepare the ancillaries for presentation of the final report.

2.0 Literature Review:

According to webster preference is grant of favor or advantage to one over another. That means some criteria that create willingness to receive any product. That may be influenced by the product’s quality, promotional activities, organizational commitment, facility, packaging, value addition etc.

Quality:

The Transcendent Approach

The transcendent definition of quality is derived from philosophy and borrows heavily from Plato’s discussion of beauty. From this viewpoint, quality is synonymous with innate excellence. The assumption is that quality is both absolute and universally recognizable. According to Pirsig (1992, p. 73), defining quality as excellence means that it is understood “ahead of definition . . . as a direct experience independent of and prior to intellectual abstractions’’. This approach to defining quality is highly subjective.

The Product Based Approach

The product-based approach has its roots in economics. Differences in the quantity of some ingredient or attribute possessed by the product are considered to reflect differences in quality (Garvin, 1984). For example, better quality linens have a higher thread count. This view of quality, based on a measurable characteristic of the product rather than on preferences, enables a more objective assessment of quality.

The User-Based Approach

In the user-based definition, quality is the extent to which a product or service meets and/or exceeds customers’ expectations. This approach is marketing based, and emerged primarily out of the services marketing literature. As the service sector grew in the US and other economies, the customer’s perspective became increasingly more important in determining quality. However, the impact of the “customer’s viewpoint’’ can be seen in several of the early definitions and discourses on quality. For example, in the first edition of his Quality Control Handbook, Juran (1951) conceptualized that quality was composed of two parts: the quality of design and the quality of conformance. The “quality of design,’’ in essence, referred to providing satisfaction to customers by designing products that met their needs. He later coined the widely used “fitness for use’’ definition of quality (Juran, 1974). Although subjective and somewhat complex, today the user-based definition is widely accepted and considered one of the key concepts of TQM.

The Manufacturing-Based Approach

The manufacturing-based approach has its roots in operations and production management. Here quality is defined as conformance to specifications (Crosby, 1979). Quality of conformance relates to the degree to which a product meets certain design standards. This definition has an internal focus, in contrast to the external focus of the user-based approach, and quality is considered an outcome of engineering and manufacturing practices. It is the basis for statistical quality control. Deviations from design specifications result in inferior quality, and consequently increased costs due to scrap, rework or product failure. This definition allows for the precise and objective measurement of quality, although it has limited applicability for services.

 

The Value-Based Approach

The value-based definition equates quality with performance at an acceptable price, or alternatively conformance at an acceptable cost. This definition is derived from traditional economic models, and is based on the notion that consumers often consider quality in relation to price. In his first edition of Total Quality Control, Feigenbaum (1951) introduced this idea when he defined quality as “best for certain customer conditions . . . the conditions being the actual use and selling price of the product.’’ Here, the notion of worth is incorporated into the definition of quality, making this more subjective than objective.

 Recognition:

The buying process starts with need recognition – with the buyer recognizing a problem or need. The buyer senses a difference between his or her actual state and some desired state. The need can be triggered by internal stimuli when one of the person’s normal needs – hunger, thirst, and sex- rises to a level high enough to become a drive. A need also be triggered by external stimuli (Principle of Marketing, Philip Kotler & Gary Armstrong, 13th edition).

 Promotion:

Promotion defines as any short term incentive to encourage the purchaser or sale of the product or service (Principle of Marketing, Philip Kotler, 13th edition). Promotion means communications that facilitates exchange by influencing the audience to accept a product (Marketing Concepts and Strategies, Williams M. Pride, ninth edition). Promotion is an element in an organizations marketing mix that serves to inform, persuade and remind the market of a product and/or the organization selling it, in hopes of influencing the recipients feelings, believes or behavior. There are five forms of promotion: personal selling, advertising, pricing, sales promotion, public relations, and publicity (Fundaments of Marketing, William J. Stanton, tenth edition).

 Advertising:

Any paid from of nonprofessional presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services by identified sponsors (Principle of Marketing, Philip Kotler, 13th edition). Advertising is a paid nonpersonal communication about an organization transmitted to target audience through mass media (Marketing Concepts and Strategies, Williams M. Pride, ninth edition). Advertising is impersonal mass communication that the sponsor has paid for and in which the sponsor is clearly identified (Fundaments of Marketing, William J. Stanton, tenth edition).

Public Relation:

Public relations is building good relations with the company’s various publics by obtaining favorable publicity, building up a good “corporate image”, and handling or heading off unfavorable rumors, stories and events. Public relation offer several unique qualities. It is very believable- new stories, features and events seem more real and believable on readers than ads do. Public relations can also reach many prospects who avoid salespeople and advertisements – the message gets to the buyers as “news” rather than as a sales-directed communication. As with advertising, public relations can dramatize a company or product. (Principle of Marketing, Philip Kotler, 13th edition).

 Customer satisfaction:

The extent to which a product’s perceived performance matches a buyer’s expectations. If the product’s performance falls short of expectations, the buyer is dissatisfied. It the performance matches or exceeds expectations, the buyer is satisfied or delighted (Principles of Marketing 13th edition, Philip Kotlar & Gary Armstrong).

Packaging:

The activity of designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product (Philip Kotler, Principle of Marketing). Packing involves the development of a container and graphic design of a product (Marketing Concepts and Strategies, Williams M. Pride, ninth edition). Packing; which consist of all the activities of designing and producing the container or wrapper of a product (William J. Stanton, Fundaments of Marketing).

Different authors point to different functions for packaging. Some of these functions relate to marketing and some to logistics. Both Robertson [4] and the Institute of Logistics [5] point to up to seven specific packaging functions, which essentially can be condensed into three core functions. The first function of packaging tends to be logistically related: packaging protects the product in movement [6, 7]. One of the basic reasons for incurring the added expense of packaging is to reduce the occurrence of damage, spoilage, or loss through theft or misplaced goods. A number of issues have increased the profile of packaging in logistical activities. For instance the increase in use of information technology and automation in warehousing and materials handling have increased the importance of packaging. Good packaging might have a positive impact on warehouse layout and design and overall warehouse productivity. Packaging dimensions and stack ability are important factors for efficient storage. (Gerard Pendergast and Leyland Pitt, 1996)

The second function of packaging is essentially a marketing function which relates most directly to sales packaging: as well as attracting attention to a product and reinforcing a product’s image, packaging provides an attractive method to convey the virtues of the product [8-15]. This function is reinforced when one considers that packaging is the single most important factor in purchasing decisions made at the point of sale [15]. Therefore packaging has a strategic purpose also since it helps a product stand out from competition. (Gerard Pendergast and Leyland Pitt, 1996)

The third function of packaging relates to both marketing and logistics: the package provides convenience (for both middlemen and consumers) of handling and storing the product. The package may be thought of as the outside wrapping of the product, or it may combine small packaged units into a larger quantity. The package may facilitate use of the product, such as the application of shoe polish [4, 16-18]. Packaging can therefore be seen to relate to both marketing and logistics. For marketing, the package sells the product by attracting attention and communicating. For logistics, the package allows the product to be contained, apportioned, unitized and communicated [19].

 

3.0    AKTEL at a Glance

3.1       Introduction

 

TM International (Bangladesh) Limited (TMIB), a joint venture company of Telekom Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., of Malaysia and A. K. Khan & Company Ltd. of Bangladesh has started its commercial operation in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh as a GSM 900 cellular phone operator on 15th November, 1997 the tremendous success in Dhaka TMIB has started its operation in Chittagong in March 26, 1998. TMIB uses the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications as the digital cellular system, which is fully featured with services like Basic Telephony, Data and Value Added Services, (VAS). TMIB has an integrated and fully computerized Customer Care Billing System (CCBS), which supports virtually all subscriber-related functions.

3.2       The Vision

To be the most preferred GSM cellular service provider in Bangladesh.

3.3       The Mission

To provide total customer satisfaction the company strives to become the most

preferred GSM cellular service provider in Bangladesh. TMIB will achieve this through developing people, products, and services of the highest quality and meeting the needs of its customers, employees, shareholders and the nation.

Theme:  “Customer First”.

3.4       TMIB Operation, Management, and Corporate offices

TMIB’s Chairman is Mr. M. Zahiruddin Khan and the Managing Director is Dato Ezanee Ab Aziz. TMIB officially got its license to operate in Bangladesh in November 1996, and started functioning in the market from 15th November 1997.

TMIB provides standard mobile connections with NWD and IDD facilities. They also provide mobile-to-mobile services. It has fully covered the Capital city Dhaka, and started functioning in the Port city from 26th March 1998. In the same year they expanded their coverage in Narayanganj the Business City and an important one closer to the capital city Dhaka. They have also reached the city with biggest beach of the world Cox’s Bazar. Now AKTEL is covering 26 districts of Bangladesh.

TMIB is a full-fledged business enterprise with a corporate head office, Finance ivision, Human resource Division, Technical Division and Marketing Division, Information Technology (IT) Division; all are functioning under efficient and highly qualified persons.

 

  • TMIB Corporate Offices

Head Office: BRAC Center, 9th Floor, Mohakhali Commercial Area, Dhaka-1212.

They have a separate Marketing Office, with a customer service section at Land Mark Building (1st floor and 8th floor) 12-14 Gulshan North C/A, Gulshan-2, Dhaka-1212. This office is responsible for all marketing oriented jobs.

Technical Office: House No.-2; Road No.-9; Block-G; Banani-1213, Dhaka.

Chittagong Office: Faruk Chamber (1st Floor); 1403 Sk. Mujib Road; Agrabad C/A, Chittagong.

3.5      Marketing policy

3.5.1   Customer Segmentation

Individual businessman, entrepreneur professionals and established organizations are the main customers of TMIB. They have also a target to take students and low-income groups with their introduction of Mobile-to-Mobile and Pre-Paid services. To serve the market more accurately their target market will be further segmented based on psychographics and business size.

3.5.2   Marketing Strategies

TMIB always wants to achieve desired sales growth and customer base. TMIB wants to encourage existing customers to use more and more of their services.

Their newly introduced package named “Eid Double Bonus” is one of their successful initiatives for the exiting customer It has a concept of “Customer gets Customer”

3.5.3   Product Positioning

Initially their target was to reach the top. But others are targeting to the grass root level, and increasing their customer. TMIB wants to be the leader with good quality and is designing products for the middle class range also.

TMIB should keep enough flexibility to design other components of marketing mixes as well.

 

3.6    Marketing product mix planning

  • Product—

• Continuous improvement of quality.

• Reposition of slow moving products to different target markets.

• Always branding AKTEL with all packages with a GSM service

 

  • Price—

     Necessary changes in tariff structure, and changes in terms and conditions.

      • Penetration pricing in the face of competition.

      • Skimming policy where possible.

Ø   Place—

• Make effective use of distribution.

     • Make product and service delivery system more effective and less time

       consuming.

• Wider distributing network to make service more accessible.

Ø   Promotion—

     • Brochures with all necessary information, press advertisements, Television

       Commercials in future, and Billboards.

3.7   Market Development

AKTEL GSM are trying to convert non-users to mobile phone users, stressing the

benefit of GSM services, and with the service benefit of AKTEL that will make their life easier. To serve the market more accurately their target market will be further segmented based on psychographics and business size.

3.8    Product Development

The strive to develop a better product will be a continuous process. Conducting of Market research will be in every three months. They will use the input to develop new product based on data they will get from survey. Thus the product will be designed to meet the customers’ need.

3.9  Organizational Structure

The organization is headed by its Chief Executive designated as the Managing Director entrusted with overall responsibilities of business direction of the organization and leading dynamically towards the attainment of its Vision, Mission, and Goal. In attaining the above mission, the Managing Director is assisted by 4 General Managers & 1 Director, Co-ordination. TMIB has established a strong and

General Managers & 1 Director, Co-ordination. TMIB has established a strong and formidable sales channel, which consists of direct dealers and its own sales force.aktel

.10   Business Definition

TMIB is in the GSM Telephony business. With the technological development in future, TMIB will adopt cost- effective and more efficient technology to provide a state of the art and comprehensive service to its customers. TMIB’s vision is to continuously monitor its customers’ needs, wants and to plan accordingly. It will monitor the development of the technology and update itself to meet customer demand.

  • AKTEL GSM Provider

Ü  The technology trusted around the world.

Ü  Wide coverage with digital clarity.

Ü  Digital security with peace-of-mind.

Ü  Various choices of value-added-features.

Ü  Better customer care-not just promised, but delivered.

Ü  Competitive rate and better billing.

3.11      Product and Services of AKTEL

AKTEL has the following categories of product:

Ø   Post-Paid—

Standard – Both ways PSTN Connectivity

Mobile Plus – PSTN Incoming Connectivity only

Mobile To Mobile – Pure

  • Pre-Paid – Under the brand name of “ONE”

Mobile To Mobile – Pure

Mobile To Mobile (PSTN Incoming)

 

3.11.1   Other Services of AKTEL

  • Standard -Bothwav PSTN Connectivity

This service allows both-way BTTB Outgoing and Incoming facilities other than only mobile connectivity facility. This is a Zonal-Subscription with National Roaming facility i.e. the subscriber can enjoy his/her available services other than the Home-zone.

  • Mobile Plus-PSTN Incoming Connectivity Only

  Mobile Plus is another addition of post-paid products of AKTEL. This phone can connect all mobiles within the home zone and all mobiles throughout AKTEL’s      coverage area. It has National Roaming facility and a flat rate airtime charge of   Tk. 6 (+VAT) per minute for all calls to anywhere within AKTEL’s coverage. It   also provides BTTB incoming facilities with first minute free and Tk. 1.00 per 30   sec. for subsequent period.

 

  • Mobile To Mobile- Pure

 M2M connects to all AKTEL mobiles and to other mobiles, subject to interconnection agreement with other mobile operators, within AKTEL’s coverage area. This product has a credit limit of Tk. 1000 on airtime usage with Tk. 1000 security deposit. There is no incoming charge.

  • Mobile To Mobile -Pure

Introduction of AKTEL’s One Pre-Paid Service (OPPS) is another development of mobile telephony in Bangladesh. OPPS have National Roaming facility and a flat airtime charge of Tk. 6.90 per minute. There is no incoming charge. This service helps the subscriber to control costs. It keeps free from the hassles of paying bills, security deposits and line rents to the subscriber. At the beginning, a customer has to buy the “One” Starter Kit and a handset. The Starter kit contains a pre-activated SIM card and a One Pre-Paid card.

  • Mobile to Mobile (PSTN Incoming)

Another AKTEL’s new One Pre-Paid Service (OPPS) is latest version of mobile

telephony in Bangladesh. OPPS have National Roaming facility and a flat airtime

charge ofTk. 6.00 (+VAT) per minute. There is no incoming charge from Mobile but a charge of Tk. 1.50 per 30 sec. for incoming from BTTB.

 

3.11.2  AKTEL Standard Service

Under standard service AKTEL has three products. They are as follows:

  • LOCAL

 This service allows receiving call or message from any phone service from anywhere of the world within AKTEL coverage area. He also can make a call to BTTB number and all other mobile phones within specific zone.

  • NWD

Under this service one may receive call or message from any phone service from anywhere of the world within AKTEL coverage area. He can also make a call to BTTB number and all other mobile phones in Bangladesh.

  • ISD

This service enjoys every facilities of NWD. Besides this, one can make a call to the foreign countries with which AKTEL has international roaming agreements.

3.11.3  GSM Technology

  • The Cutting-edge Technology

GSM stands for Global System Mobile communications. GSM is the world’s most advanced and extensively used mobile phone system. More than 20 million subscribers in almost 130 countries worldwide and AKTEL in Bangladesh use the latest GSM technology because AKTEL are committed to give the customer the very best.

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

  • Calling Line Identification Presentation (CLIP)

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

  • Call Waiting and Holding

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

  • Call Forwarding

Call forwarding let’s subscribers’ redirect or re-route subscribers’ call to another AKTEL mobile or any other fixed (if subscriber have BTTB connectivity) or mobile phone.

  • Call Barring

Enables subscribers to restrict certain types of calls to be made from subscriber’s mobile. This feature is especially important for security purposes.

  • Itemized Billing

 If customers are not satisfied with his phone bill then he can collect the Itemized Bill, which describes elaborate Incoming and Outgoing call with phone number and duration.

3.11.4  Value Added Services

The following additional services are available upon the request from the subscriber: —

  • Voice Mail Service (VMS)

1. VMS is a unique answering machine

2. It provides subscribers with a personal electronic mail box in AKTEL voice mail

center

3. It records subscribers personalized greetings as well as stores subscriber’s incoming voice messages

4. It records incoming voice messages if subscribers are;

Outside AKTEL’s coverage area, or

Busy, or

Simply switched off subscriber’s mobile

5. It provides 24-hour automatic secretarial service

6. Make subscribers available to subscriber’s calling party anytime.

  • Short Message Service (SMS)

1. SMS in subscriber’s mobile acts like an advanced pager.

2. Subscribers can send and receive text messages of up to 160 characters, directly from one AKTEL mobile to another AKTEL mobile.

  • AKTEL International Roaming Service (AIRS)

 1. Subscriber could reach 170 countries by using one number in one way

3.12   Network Coverage

 

  

Dhaka Zone

 

Sylhet Zone

 

Barisal Zone

 

Khulna Zone

 

Rajshahi Zone

 

Chittagong Zone

  
  

Dhaka

 

 

Sylhet

 

 

Barisal

 

 

Khulna

 

 

Rajshahi

 

 

Chittagong

 

  
  

Narayangonj

 

 

Maulvi Bazar

 

 

Jhalakati

 

Jessore

 

 

Bogra

 

 

Feni

 

  
  

Gazipur

 

 

Habigong

 

 

Patuakhali

 

Magura

 

 

Rangpur

 

 

Coxs Bazar

 

  
  

Narsingdi

 

 

Sunamganj

 

Pirojpur

 

 

Jhenaidah

 

 

Dinajpur

 

Noakhali

 

  
  

Munshiganj

 

   

Barguna

 

Kustia

 

 

Lalmonirhut

 

 

 Lakshmipur

 

  
  

Manikganj

 

   

Bhola

 

Satkhira

 

 

Kurigram

 

    
  

Brahmanbaria

 

     

 Bagerhat

 

 

Nilphamari

 

    
  

Chandpur

 

     

  Chuadanga

 

 

Thakurgaon

 

    
  

Comilla

 

     

  Meherpur

 

 

Naogaon

 

    
  

Tangail

 

     

 Narail

 

Natore

 

    
  

Mymensingh

 

       

 Sirajganj

 

    
  

Netrakona

 

       

 Pabna

 

    
  

Sherpur

       

Chapai Nawabganj

    
  

Jamalpur

       

  Joypurhat

    
  

Kishoreganj

 

       

 Panchagarh

    
  

Gopalganj

 

       

Gaibanda

    
  

Faridpur

            
  

Shariatpur

            
  

Rajbari

            
  

Madaripur

            

 

3.12.1  AKTEL Coverageaktel

  • Competitors’ performance

TMIB was the third entrant in the market and it possesses 13% of the cellular market of the country. The following Pie Chart depicts the operator wise market share in Bangladesh as at December 2005:

aktel

4.0 Findings & Analysis:

The researcher divides the questionnaire into two parts in the findings and analysis segment; these are general information and customer satisfactory of the users. These two parts will give a clear idea about the customer preference towards AKTEL prepaid connection. After finishing the survey the researcher found the following findings:

4.1          Profession of the respondents:

Particulars

Frequency

Percentage

Service

43

43.00%

Business

7

7.00%

Student

40

40.00%

House wife

6

6.00%

Others

4

4.00%

 

Table 4.1: Profession of the respondents

The above picture shows most of the users of AKTEL prepaid connection are service holder which is 43%. 40% of the total respondent’s are student, 7% are Businessmen, 6% are housewife and 4% are in other category. It indicates that most of the respondents are either student or service holder.

4.2       Monthly income of the respondents:

Particulars

Frequency

Percentage

Below 6,000

11

11.00%

6,000 – 10,000

23

23.00%

10,000 – 15,000

35

35.00%

15,000 – 20,000

16

16.00%

20,000 – 25,000

9

9.00%

Above 25,000

6

6.00%

Table 4.2: Monthly income of the respondents

 

The highest percentage of respondent’s monthly income level is between Tk.10, 000 to Tk 15,000 which is 35%, second highest percentage is 23% which income level is Tk. 6,000 to Tk. 10,000. So the middle class people use AKTEL prepaid connection most.

4.3     Age of respondents:

Particulars

Frequency

Percentage

Below 6,000

11

11.00%

6,000 – 10,000

23

23.00%

10,000 – 15,000

35

35.00%

15,000 – 20,000

16

16.00%

20,000 – 25,000

9

9.00%

Above 25,000

6

6.00%

Table 4.3: Age of respondents

The above graph presents that 33% respondent’s ages are from 20-25 years and 34% respondents ages are from 26-30 years. 14% ages are from 31-35 years. Only 5% ages are from 13-19 years.

4.4       Recharging the mobile phone:

About the question of how much do you recharge each month using scratch card? The followings are found.

Frequency

Percent

Tk. 300

81

81.00%

Tk. 600

12

12.00%

Tk. 1200

5

5.00%

Tk. 2400

2

2.00%

Table 4.4: Recharging the mobile phone

The above table show, most of the respondents’ recharge their mobile by Tk. 300 scratch card, which is 81 % and 12% are by Tk 600. It indicates that most number of AKTEL prepaid users use Tk 300 scratch card.

4.5       Waiting for full expiry date of Card Validity:

About the question of whether the customer waits for the expiry date to recharge.

Particulars

Frequency

Percent

Yes

81

81.00%

No

19

19.00%

Table 4.5: Waiting for full expiry date of Card Validity

The above picture shows most of the customers’ recharge their cell phone after finishing the current prepaid scratch card duration which is 81 % and rest of the customers do not wait for the full expiry period. Maximum numbers of prepaid users are waiting for the expiry date to recharge.

4.6       Reason for Waiting for full expiry date of Card Validity:

This question gives the answer why the customer waits for the scratch card validity date.

 

 

Particulars

Frequency

Percent

Budget Constraint

61

75.31%

Can do without cell phone for certain duration

8

9.88%

Looking to switch to other operator.

0

0.00%

Buying Card Monthly

12

14.81%

Table 4.6: Reason for Waiting for full expiry date of Card validity

 

The above graph shows that budget constraint is the main reason for waiting for full expiry date of call validity. 75% respondents do not recharge card before expiry because of budget constraint.

4.7      Reason for Using a Mobile Phone:

 

Particulars

Frequency

Percent

Keep in touch with family

47

47%

Business

7

7%

Keep in touch with friends

19

19%

Office use

23

23%

Others

4

4%

Figure 4.7 Reason for using mobile phone

The graphs show that most people use mobile phone to keep in touch with their families. 47% respondent said that it is their main usage of mobile phone. 23% use mobile connection for official use and 19% to contact with friends. Only 7% uses mobile phone for business reasons.

In the second part of the survey which is addressed as the  customer preference for using AKTEL prepaid connection, is divide into six segment which are Quality, Recognition, Facility, Commitment, Promotion and Packing. This part will give us a clear picture why the customers give preference to AKTEL prepaid connection.

4.8 Quality:

4.8.1 The low startup cost:

After taking survey the following picture are to be invented.

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

24

24.00%

Agree

44

44.00%

Neutral

5

5.00%

Disagree

20

20.00%

Strongly Disagree

7

7.00%

Table 4.8.1: The low startup cost

After analyzing this data, 44% of the total respondents agree with the statement, 24% strongly agree while other 20% respondents disagree with it as well.

4.8.2 Satisfaction with the Network coverage:

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

63

63.00%

Agree

22

22.00%

Neutral

0

0.00%

Disagree

12

12.00%

Strongly Disagree

3

3.00%

Table 4.8.2: Satisfaction with the Network coverage

Customers are satisfied with the network coverage of AKTEL. 52% of the total respondents strongly agree with the availability of the network coverage of AKTEL, 33% agree with it. So there are a little bit objections about AKTEL’s network coverage which is one of the main advantages of AKTEL over its competitors.

4.9 Recognition:

4.9.1 Market Reputation of AKTEL:

After taking survey the following picture are to be invented.

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

17

17.00%

Agree

54

54.00%

Neutral

6

6.00%

Disagree

16

16.00%

Strongly Disagree

7

7.00%

Table 4.9.1 Market Reputation of AKTEL

17% of the total respondents strongly agree that AKTEL has a good reputation in the market, 54% agree with it. On the other hand 7% respondents are strongly disagreeing with the strong market reputation of AKTEL. The market reputation is quite satisfactory for AKTEL.

4.10 Facility:

4.10.1 Providing New Technology & related services:

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

19

19.00%

Agree

41

41.00%

Neutral

13

13.00%

Disagree

21

21.00%

Strongly Disagree

6

6.00%

Table 4.10.1 Providing New Technology & related services

The above table and graph illustrate AKTEL’s new technology and services (SMS, Voicemail, AIRS, Information Service, GPRS etc) where 41% respondents agree with the related features, 19% respondents strongly agree with it. The respondents are agreeing with this statement that AKTEL provides the latest technology and related services.

4.10.2 The Off-Peak Hour System:

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

28

28.00%

Agree

35

35.00%

Neutral

7

7.00%

Disagree

17

17.00%

Strongly Disagree

13

13.00%

Table 4.10.2: The Off-Peak Hour System

The graph reflects that the customer likes the off peak hour system of AKTEL’s prepaid connection, where 28% respondents are strongly agree with it and 35% of the total respondents agree with it. It indicates the customers are happy with this service but there is objection about the time for the off peak hour system. People who disagree with it, their main complain was about the timing of the off/peak hour system.

4.10.3 “My easy number” option:

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

27

27.00%

Agree

37

37.00%

Neutral

11

11.00%

Disagree

19

19.00%

Strongly Disagree

6

6.00%

Figure 4.10.3:  Prepaid Standard option

From the above graph it can be clearly understood that people like the “Prepaid Standard ” the company provides. 27% strongly agrees that they like this service and 37% agrees with it. 11% are neutral. 19% disagrees with it and 11% strongly disagrees with it. Among the respondents who disagree with said that the option of selected number should be increased.

4.10.4 AKTEL provides different prepaid package offers often:

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

11

11.00%

Agree

38

38.00%

Neutral

20

20.00%

Disagree

22

22.00%

Strongly Disagree

9

9.00%

Figure 4.10.4:  Provides different package offers often

The above graph shows that 38% respondents agree that AKTEL provides different package offers often. 20% respondents were neutral about the statement. 22% subscribers also disagree with the statement.

4.11 Commitment:

4.11.1 Satisfaction with the Duration of Scratch Card:

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

9

9.00%

Agree

29

29.00%

Neutral

5

5.00%

Disagree

6

6.00%

Strongly Disagree

51

51.00%

Table 4.11.1 Satisfaction with the duration of scratch card

Duration of prepaid scratch card is very important for the subscribers. The above picture shows that 51% of the total respondents strongly disagree with the validation time of the card and in contrast 29% respondents agree with it. So it can be a worrying factor for AKTEL.

4.11.2 Low Call Charge per minute:

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

6

6.00%

Agree

20

20.00%

Neutral

3

3.00%

Disagree

7

7.00%

Strongly Disagree

64

64.00%

Table 4.11.2: Low Call Charge per minute

64% of the respondents are Strongly Disagree about the low call charge per minute. Only 20% are agree and 6% are Strongly Agree, Which indicate a total of 26% are Satisfied with the call chare by the AKTEL. It indicates the AKTEL don’t give the low call charge over the customer with the AKTEL Prepaid connection.

4.11.3 Take prompt action in case of any dissatisfaction:

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

11

11.00%

Agree

23

23.00%

Neutral

17

17.00%

Disagree

39

39.00%

Strongly Disagree

10

10.00%

 

 

Table 4.11.3 Take prompt action incase of any dissatisfaction

The graph represents that 23% agrees with the statement that GP take prompt action in case of any dissatisfaction with the service. 17% are neutral and 39% disagrees with the statement.

4.12 Promotion:

4.12.1 Promotional Activities

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

19

19.00%

Agree

46

46.00%

Neutral

3

3.00%

Disagree

26

26.00%

Strongly Disagree

6

6.00%

Table 4.12.1 Promotional Activities

Advertisement plays a vital role in any business. When asked about this question 46% respondents agree that before buying this connection they were encourage to see the advertisement in billboard, newspapers, TV etc. 19% strongly agree with the statement.

4.13 Packing:

4.13.1 Awareness of the Product:

ParticularsFrequencyPercentage
Strongly Agree

21

21.00%

Agree

44

44.00%

Neutral

16

16.00%

Disagree

12

12.00%

Strongly Disagree

7

7.00%

Table 4.13.1 Awareness of the product

About the awareness of the product of the customers are at AKTEL’s side. 44% of them Agree and 21% strongly agreed with it. No of disagreeing of people are small, only 7% strongly disagree.

5.0 Strategic Analysis:

After finishing the findings part it was found that the customer’s feedback is quite interesting. Now the researcher is trying to analyze the findings and these are follows:

  • Among the respondents a few number of customer’s profession are house wife and businessman. The majority of prepaid subscribers are service holder and student. They mainly use this connection to keep in touch with their family and for official use. Majority subscribers’ ages are from 20 to 35 years.
  • People who have high incomes do not prefer AKTEL prepaid connection that much. They prefer regular or post paid connection. Persons who have limited and low income are the main user of prepaid connection. That’s why the number of respondents of low monthly income is high.
  • People uses 300 Tk scratch card the most and usually waits for the full expiry of the scratch card before refilling a new card.
  • Mainly for the budget constraint customers wait for the valid date for the scratch card and this percentage is quite high. Some are buying cards monthly because they have an allowance for the mobile phone cards in that duration.
  • There are many reasons for using mobile phone, the service holders use cell phone for official use, housewives and students to communicate with their family and friends. The respondent’s reason for using mobile phone varies on their profession. Although a high percentage of respondents responded that they mainly use the mobile to keep in touch with their family.

Earlier it was mentioned that the second part of the survey will give a clear picture, why the customer prefer the AKTEL Prepaid connection. To know the customer’s view about the product the researcher asked the respondents about quality, recognition, facility, commitment, promotion and packing.

First segment is quality where the researcher asked about the low startup cost and network coverage. The customers agreed with the startup cost of the connection. On the other hand the customers have an objection about the network coverage of AKTEL. They said AKTEL’s network is going to be effective in Bangladesh.

In the second part which is recognition, concedes market reputation, image of the company etc. AKTEL has a good reputation in the market after  launching the Easy prepaid connection, with their expansion of network, clear sound, attractive phone set etc, they were able to get a firm grip on the market.

 Customers prefer or choose one product or service when a company provides good facilities to it. Here AKTEL does the same; they offer good facilities to their customer and try to satisfy them. The subscribers agree that AKTEL provides new technology often. Providing new technology and related service means SMS, GPRS, Voicemail, Information Service etc.  Some customers face problems because sometimes they do not know how to operate these services.  These respondents are not familiar with the technology and services because they do not know how to active these options. The number of respondents who agree with the off peak hour system are high. They like the idea of low call rate system for a specific period of time. But people who disagree with it have complained about the timing of the facility. Some respondent argue that the number of people to which they can select this option should be at least 3.

The commitment segment contains duration of scratch card; low call charge per minute, taking prompt action against dissatisfaction with the services etc. Customers are not too satisfied with the duration of the scratch card. The present duration of the 300 Tk scratch card is 30 days and 45 days for 600 Tk scratch card. Subscribers strongly think that the duration of the 300 Tk scratch card is effective in 30 days. It would be very convenient for them. Because then they can buy cards monthly. Some subscribers suggested that at least they should have the opportunity to receive incoming call for 30 days. Subscribers are clearly dissatisfied with the call rate per minute. They think although AKTELS’s network coverage is  good enough , they should lower their call charge which 3.50 Tk per 30 seconds. They think it is too high. The other companies are charging less than them.

5.1 Reasons for introducing such kind of connection:

When AKTEL introduced itself as a mobile phone company, they did not have prepaid connection in their product list. Before launching this connection, their market was not expanded. After launching this, the market of AKTEL had boomed within couple of years and became popular to the customer. AKTEL authority thought on the people of Bangladesh, most of them are middle class who can not afford the postpaid connection because of monthly connection charge. As a result the consumer chooses pre-paid connection. The researcher was interested to find out the reasons that influenced AKTEL to come up with this pre-paid connection. It was found that mainly two reasons were behind introduction of such category of connection.

  1. 1.       To expand the Business:

After introducing prepaid connection in the market, AKTEL expanded their market all over the country promptly.  AKTEL launched prepaid connection after Grameen Phone ( a popular telecom company), City Cell, Sheba (Bangla Link) and It captured market very quickly in the prepaid connection subscriber in the whole telecom sector. It is very clear that the prepaid connection helped them to expand their market.

  1. 2.       Capture The Market:

Among the cell phone companies in Bangladesh, AKTEL deserves many popularity in the pre-paid connection in this country and hence captured the mobile phone market effectively. As a new company AKTEL invested hugely and expand their network coverage all over the country and got the result promptly. They took huge risk in their business operation. Thus AKTEL takes the challenge to be the next Market Leader of the cell phone industry by the help of easy prepaid connection.

5.2 Why the people prefer a AKTEL prepaid connection:

There are lots of reasons behind the customer for preferring AKTEL prepaid connection. These are as follows:

  • A service holder or Student who has limited income, prefer this connection where it is convenient for them to use a connection with no monthly bill. If they have some finance problem they can go on by not using mobile for few days. This facility is only possible in pre-paid connection.
  •  Customer’s monthly income affects the type of mobile connection they use to communicate with others. In my survey it was found large number of respondent’s income level are between Tk.10, 000-15,000, and it is easy for them to use the  AKTEL’s prepaid connection. Because they do not have to pay monthly charge for using post-paid connection.
  • Subscribers are satisfied with their network coverage that captures almost the whole area in Bangladesh. They said it is the main strength of AKTEL over its competitors.
  • Subscribers are not too happy about the scratch card duration the company provides currently. But it has some other facilities than other prepaid connection. It has 30 seconds pulse from the first minute and So people prefer AKTEL pre-paid connection than others.
  • Subscribers prefer AKTEL because of their market reputation also. It has succeeded to create strong market reputation over the years.
  • Another reason is off peak hour system for which the respondents prefer this connection, which gives the half rate (Tk 2.30/30 seconds) from the peak hour. By which a customer talk with others more than half rate.
  • People are not too happy with the customer service they provide in case of any dissatisfaction with the service. They said if they complain about anything it took some time for them to take action against it. They also have to wait in a long queue when they want to meet customer service centers officials for any reason.
  • The standard connection (Mobile Standard) is another reason people prefer AKTEL prepaid connection because of they could use both way (TNT incoming and outgoing). Here they select the standard packages as they can talk with their homes, offices, or anywhere by using scratch card. This option is very popular with the customers.
  • AKTEL’s advertisements are more attractive than others. It has big, nice looking billboards, TV advertisements, sponsors regular TV news headline in popular channels.

5.3 Preference Pyramid of AKTEL prepaid Connection:aktel

Figure 5.1: Preference Pyramid of AKTELe Prepaid Connection

This pyramid represents the customer’s preference towards AKTEL prepaid connection. The bottom two levels represents areas where the preference level is low and the first three levels shows the main reasons the subscribers are using this connection.

When a customer buys a cell phone connection then they compare their connection with the other connections in the market. Here the researcher is trying to find out the preference level of the customer. The bottom preference level represents less customer preference to AKTEL prepaid connection.

Call charge per minute: Subscribers think AKTEL’s call rate per minute is too high. The competitors are charging less than them. But they are using it because of other facilities they provide.

Duration of scratch card: Here also the preference level is low. Subscribers are not too satisfied with the availability of the scratch card they are currently providing. It is not convenient for them.

The peak hour system: In the peak our subscriber is happy to get pulse from the first minute. Here the specific time (8 am to 11pm). Subscriber take the advantage of the call charge merely Tk.3.50/ 30 seconds.

The off-peak hour system: The fourth level contains the off peak hour system. Here for a specific time (11pm to 8 am) AKTEL subscribers can call in any mobile phone with 60% reduce rate in per minute. Although the some subscribers are dissatisfied with the timing of the off peak hour system but most of them prefer it than other cellular service’s facility.

Network coverage: AKTEL has wide network coverage in the country than any other cell phone company’s network and the fifth level contains this preference level. Most of the respondents are happy with the network coverage of AKTEL. Mainly for this reason the customer can pay more call charge per minute. Wherever they go they find AKTEL’s network. The customer’s preference level is high here and their preferences to AKTEL mainly exist between these first three levels. For a mobile phone connection the network plays a vital role and which attracts the customer. AKTEL going to reshuffle its network solution to catch the customer first across the country

After analyzing my findings I found the customer preference level exists between the first two levels which are network coverage and off peak hour system in the pre-paid options provided by AKTEL.

6.0 Recommendation:

The recommendations given below are not decisions; rather they are only suggestions to improve the customer service in order to fulfill the customer satisfaction so that subscribers give more preference to AKTEL Prepaid connection. The recommendations are made on the basis of survey findings and analysis and these are:

  • AKTEL should decrease the inter – zonal cost Prepaid Connection. Among the three prepaid holder companies, AKTEL has little bit high start up cost than GP and CityCell. In such competitive market AKTEL should minimize their start up cost.
  • Recently the customers are facing some network problem with AKTEL’s network, AKTEL should be more careful about it. AKTEL’s network is not as good as like Grameen Phone (GP). They have to remember that is their main advantage to catch the customer first all over the country. So they should improve the network coverage and at the same time network solution.
  • It may be a threat for AKTEL when the T&T will launch their cell phone in the market. AKTEL’s authority should try hard to maintain their strong market reputation.
  • Although AKTEL provides new technology and services, they should make it more clear to the customer. Because it has been noticed that many customers are ignorant about how to use some value added services. AKTEL can publish news letter or advertisement on how the customer can use these services.
  • The off peak hour system should be extended, because according to the findings and analysis, the respondents have objection about the timing of it.
  • There is complete dissatisfaction among the respondents about the call charge per minute. The respondents said that it should be between 2to 3 Tk per minute. If the T& T launches its cell phone then AKTEL’s market may fall as well as the customer preference.

Presently AKTEL is doing very nice by offering people scratch card Tk.300 for 180 days and Tk.600 for 365 days in their business. This is a dynamic offer in the prepaid connection service for the first time in Bangladesh. They have subscribers over 1 million but they don’t have huge number of subscribers as like Grameen Phone (GP). To stay ahead in such competitive market AKTEL authority should realize the customer’s needs and wants and provide facilities to them according to that.  The suggested recommendation may help AKTEL to increase their number of subscribers and increase the satisfaction of the current subscribers.

7.0 Conclusion:

The present study has attempted to describe the customer response on AKTEL prepaid connection in perspective of different area. More specifically in this study customer’s view regarding the suitable prepaid connections offered by AKTEL has been discussed. The company successfully active in the three prepaid packages like Standard (BTTB incoming and outgoing), Mobile plus (BTTB incoming), and Mobile link (Mobile to mobile).   The intention of this study was to find out the consumer satisfaction by using these three prepaid options offered by AKTEL. Selecting the right package is very much important for communication. People need to communicate effectively. So, it is very important to select different packages and from the survey it was found that the customers consider standard as the most suitable option in AKTEL.Here the consumer could easily communicate with the BTTB easily by using prepaid card spontaneously. It was also found that people prefer prepaid option for the duration of 30 days for Tk.300 and 60 days for Tk.600 scratch card whenever they needed.

However, this study helped to identify the reaction of the current position on AKTEL prepaid customer and their satisfaction at the extreme level. Hopefully the findings and analysis, recommendations that are suggested in the report will help AKTEL to fulfill the demand of the consumer precisely.

Related Marketing Paper: