If you read our blog regularly you probably noticed that Pelephone is on a row and since launching its new GSM network new campaigns just keeps coming..
So as you probably know already (since you read are recent posts 🙂 ) Pelephone has recently launched its new roaming offer Global Pass , allowing business customers make calls for 0.59 ILS after a 4 ILS set-up fee. when does it pay off for the customer? only if yourphone convesations are usually long. for more details see previous post: Here.
So after all the introduction, Pelephone has released a few days ago a new ad featuring Vodafone Netherlands as a strategic roaming partner. The roaming agreement was signed on 2006 already but Pelephone ultimatly decided to advertise it only now, my assumption is that the agreement was signed over GSM networks Pelephone never had until now.. (not that it wasn’t in use since Pelephone provided GSM phones for travelers but it was less convenient for customers).
Pelephone has recently announced that during summer time travelers joining Global Pass will do it for free without subscription charges and with no commitment to a service period.
The ad doesn’t say how many roaming partners Pelephone has or how many countries around the world they cover but it does say that Pelephone customers can use their phone from the the largest number of countries around the world.
Here’s the ad,
March was certainly the month of Pelephone, regarding its investment in advertising. The company that has launched its new network in March is the largest advertiser of the month, with total investment of the huge amount of 3.8 million dollars.
Other cellular companies remained on march with a high volume of advertising , but the nature of their investments in advertising in March was much smaller than the Pelephone: Partner invests 1.7 million dollars in March, posisioning it at the 9th spot in the advertisers table. Cellcom invests 1.2 million dollars, which puts it in the 13th spot. The mobile category as a whole is the second largest in terms of investment in advertising in March, with total investment of 8.3 million dollars.
Meanwhile Pelephone continues to Advetise at a mass scale through May.
Here’s a recent spot:
The HighSpeed GSM campaign is continuing. The message has shifted from the general information (new network, new experience) to particulate offers. It has started with outdoor posters of the t new GSM handsets form Nokia and Erickson and has continued with a new roaming proposition. The last worth a few words. One of the main targets of building a new network was a creation of a relevant roaming proposition as a significant revenue share of every GSM operator comes from the voice (and lately data) roaming. Being a CDMA carrier Pelephone wasn’t able to match competitors’ propositions in this field. So, I’ve expected an effort to bring something new to the roaming market, especially in light of the Passover holidays traditional price war between the carriers in this sphere.
I must admit that this time Pelephone hasn’t disappointed me. The started offering some kind of flat rate for calls from abroad. One can pay a monthly charge of ILS 20 (for at lest 12 months) and then call for ILS 0.59 per minute with additional charge of ILS 4 per call. Of course this option may be attractive only for a frequent traveler; taking into consideration that the lowest price offered by Partner and Cellcom is about ILS 1.5 per minute, those who travel a lot and speak at least 270 minutes during the year will find the offer attractive. However, due to the limited target audience of the offer it’s unclear whether it will leave a significant fingerprint on the market.
The spot promoting the proposition is nice and communicates the message of connection between different worlds. I think this commercial is by far better than the first one and definitely much clearer. Here it is, enjoy!
And one more thing: As I’ve predicted, Pelephone is trying to make use of the new unutilized network and has already begun slashing price on the mobile broadband. It has recently launch a limited proposition for students offering a monthly package of 10 GB and USB modem for ILS 60. This is compared to ILS 120 for an unlimited package in Cellcom.
As I’ve promised, I continue to cover the launch of th the new HSPA network by Pelephone. In the previous post we’ve also witnessed an unexpected help from Stavik (she is helplessly busy with some unimportant things these days :-). As she has described and criticized the new advertising campaign very well, I’ll just say a few words about it and then will share a few observations, thoughts and of ciurse pics from the new campaign.
After the very very soft launch, on the last week the campaign finally started with a huge number of outdoor posters. I believe that every third billboard in the country is covered right now with Pelephone’s strange creatures. Yet, I must say that I prefer to see these creatures instead of the annoying faces of the politicians, left from the elections. After a few days A TV spot has also appeared.
Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I was very curious of the pricing strategy Pelephone would choose in order to attract customers to the new network. A visit to Pelephone‘s website has shown that the operator offers a few packages varying in number of the included minutes. All packages also include a handset and all come with 18-months contract. No evidence of any other option. Being suspicious and still curious (yes I know, this isn’t a good quality) I passed through their service center and talked to a salesperson. She offered me exactly the same packages plus an option to take a similar plan without a long term commitment. In both cases the prices were above average on the market. And still no option to get a SIM-only deal. She just said that I don’t have to take the phone – the price wouldn’t differ.
So, what do we have?
It seems that the operator has chosen the differentiating strategy. It’s message tries to convince that Pelephone offers something the competitors’ don’t. The logo “High speed GSM” is chosen due to the fact that the average consumer the the technology used by Partner and Cellcom called GSM. Hence, Pelephone is saying – our GSM is better, completely ignoring the the fact that both Cellcom and Partner have been offering this “high speed” technology (HSPA) for a few years.
The second leg of the campaign is standing on the devices offer, presenting a new range of Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets as an inevitable part of the proposition. Indeed, they have a few nice gadgets, but being honest, I doubt this will attract the mass market consumer.
As I’ve said, the price level is above average on the market except for the unlimited data package that is a little cheaper. Generally, as Pelephone executives had promised before the launch, Pelephone tries to attract by the extra value rather than buy price cut. It doesn’t take the risk of price war and market break.
However, I’ve a guess that after an initial period, when the early adopters and impulsive buyers potential is exhausted, Pelephone will have a little choice and will probably slash the prices for very simple reasons. Today Pelephone has to run both CDMA and GSM networks with doubled operational costs. Naturally, their higher interest must be switching the old network off. So I expect a very aggressive marketing effort targeted at the existing customers. In addition’ the operator has an almost totally unutilized network, meaning that the marginal cost of every new subscriber is close to ZERO. I believe it may be wise for Pelephone to transfer aprt of that zero to the customers (in some kind of discount). Though I must admit that I don’t familiar with the figures of the elasticity of demand in Israeli mobile market. So, maybe Pelephone will manage o keep the prices high without a decrease in sales.
The absence of the SOM-only deals is not quiet clear to me. Today, in the economic turmoil. the leading carriers in the world are trying to minimize handset subsidizing and on the other hand to match people’s demand to minimize their expenses. I don’t sure how much people who are afraid to loose their job desire to buy the latest Nokia smartphone. Surprisingly, Pelephone is pushing heavily subsidized phones without any other alternative for the consumer.
I suggest that the only reason is the commitment period. While according to the new regulation rules the maximal contact period is limited to 18 months, the payments for the device may last as long as 36 months, creating some kind of longer commitment.
Yesterday I saw the first results assessments released by of one of Pelephone’s bosses. He talked about thousands of customers who had joined the new network even before the main advertising effort started. Maybe after all the offer is seen as attractive and beneficial enough! CONGRATULATIONS TO PELEPHONE!
In the last few days is seems that the operators didn’t succeed in avoiding a price war. For now, the battle is between Pelephone and Cellcom only. Cellcom offers a special price for Pelephone customers (30 agorot/min) and so does Pelepfone for Cellcom customers (34 agorot/min). Let the action begin!
For the last two weeks, people roaming the streets could have seen the wide spread of outdoor ads promoting Pelephone’s new “High Speed GSM” network.
The ad features some sort of creature painting a sign announcing the new “high speed” network, an announcement that refers to the new HSPA network launched by Pelephone a month ago, the most advanced network in the world.
the only HSPA network in Israel so far.Along came the TV ad today available in this post for all of you viewers.
Another interesting activity Pelephone has carried out is establishing a temporary pop-up concept store. The temporary store spreads on 1,200 meters showcasing the new HSPA network handsets allowing customers to explore enjoying a unique customer experience.
This launch is a big one, especially for Pelephone. Pelephone was established in 1986 as the first mobile operator in Israel, but ever since then it was known as the last one to arrive to all the other parties… A significant factor which contributed to that notion was Pelephone’s persistent hold on its CDMA network.
At last Pelephone has a brilliant chance to get rid of the “last one in” syndrome it has been suffering from since Cellcom joined Orange and launched it GSM network a few years ago.
But… before I let you go back to your affairs, its time for some criticism- The outdoor ads? not so attractive at all. No sense of innovation in the outdoor campaign unfortunately, and I also really don’t like the new HSPA network logo that is so conservative and boring..
The TV ad is much nicer and communicates the innovation though I don’t really get whats that thing about the wedding… and what’s the message (I mean except from a new world).
Actually, the biggest problem Pelephone has with the key promotional message is that they actually have the same network as their competitors- so they can’t claim for any unique sales proposition.
So CHEERS to Pelephone and good luck with the new network!
As I’ve promised I continue to inform about Pelephone’s new network campaign enrollment. Yesterday I’ve passed again near Pelephone point of sale in the central bus station in Jerusalem. This time it looked better. New posters with “High speed GSM” logo had already been placed. It seems also that the staff has been reinforced (3 sales persons instead of the usual 1 or 2). Here are a few pictures I’ve taken. Btw pictures were shut by my brand new Nokia N79.