Italian mobile operator Wind will be offering subscribers the opportunity to lock in discount prices for the next five years on its post-paid All Inclusive plans. The entry-level All Inclusive Smart offers 300 call minutes to all networks, 300 SMS to all networks, and unlimited data usage, plus unlimited calls to one chosen Wind number. The normal cost is €25/month, but if the subscriber chooses the five-year option the cost falls to €20/month.
All the plans have unlimited data and unlimited calls to one chosen Wind number, as well as the opportunity to get a SmartPhone starting with a low-end unit for no cost. Only the number of call minutes and SMS vary from plan to plan. For example, in the All Inclusive Silver, 800 call minutes and 800 SMS are typically offered at €50/month, but are discounted to €40 for five years in the “extended” plan. In the Gold version, the standard offerings are 1500 call minutes and 1500 SMS for €75/month, now discounted to €50. Finally, in the Platinum plan, the allotments are 2500 call minutes and 2500 SMS for €70 per month versus the standard price of €100.
A noteworthy aspect of these plans is that while the subscriber has the right to keep the discounted monthly prepaid rate for five years, he or she has the obligation to keep it for just two, and may discontinue the service anytime thereafter without penalty.
Wind is using an innovative and unique approach in pricing these plans. As best we can tell, none of its competitors has yet to introduce a comparable offer. The pricing structure is aimed at luring new subscribers with the promise of low rates locked in for up to five years. Given how quickly rates, bundles, and devices change in the mobile market, we question the value of the extra three years (beyond the minimum two) of these five-year plans from the consumer’s perspective.
However, we believe this could be a winner for Wind as its goal would appear to be to take customers away from its competitors by making what seems to be an attractive offer that those competitors currently cannot match. Even if new subscribers who sign up for the extended plan ultimately exit it long before the expiration of the five year extended period, they will still be Wind customers at that time, placing Wind in a solid position to retain that business for the foreseeable future.
Other Notable Developments
Warid Telecom Launches Mobile App Store
Warid Telecom of Abu Dhabi announced the launch of its own mobile app store, MyAppsMall. Registered users can download, directly to their SmartPhones, a wide range of applications and games compatible with a variety of devices and operating systems. For a limited time period, these apps will be free. This is another example of operators trying to create an ancillary revenue stream, in this case by taking a page out of Apple’s book.