A little over a month ago Powertel drew cries from many of its subscribers when it switched from an unlimited package to a pricier usage based system that left subscribers buying 1GB of data for $23.
In a market that is highly price sensitive it wasn’t surprising that a lot of Powertel subscribers swore to move on to other providers like Africom that had just launched an unlimited package around the same time. Now it seems Powertel is trying to retain clients and hopefully angle for more users.
In an act of good cheer the local ISP has introduced a festive season promotion that gives subscribers double the amount of data for each bundle bought. This means, for example, that your $23 purchase will get you 2GB instead of just 1GB.
Called the Power Double Double Festive Season Promotion, it extends to all data purchases and is running until 31 January 2015. The success of this promotion will largely hinge on how many subscribers are willing to remain loyal to the Powertel brand. It hardly seems like a campaign to bring in new users.
The question though is whether this promotion is enough to prevent subscriber flight. One thing for certain is that even in just retaining existing subscribers , Powertel has to do more than just double its data offering.
The draw card for Powertel was always the offer for unlimited internet for just $1.20 a day. This was instead replaced by a tariff structure that doesn’t come anywhere near the previous $35 deal, no matter how much the data offering is doubled.
Granted that the ISP might be facing host of changes that called for some product adjustment, but such issues are hardly relevant for the thrifty user like your average startup trying to contain data costs.
With usage based packages and an aim for a target market keen on the the sub-$50 price range, Powertel is now up against providers like TelOne ADSL ($35 for 20 GB) and Africom ($25 unlimited browsing) that by all accounts seem to be offering subscribers more bang for their buck.
What are your thoughts on this data promotion from Powertel?