Polish mobile operator P4, trading under the Play brand, has introduced a new promotion for customers who are staying at home. Beginning on 28 April, subscribers who confirm their presence at home over the operator’s customer service mobile app Play 24 for three days in turn will be offered a 1 GB data package free of charge.
Up to 10 such packages will be available under the promotion, which can be used by prepaid and postpaid subscribers of Play.
The operator said that it will not carry out any checks on customers, as the promotion is focused on raising public awareness of issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, we have been following with interest the efforts of mobile and broadband operators to adapt themselves and their business models to it. Much of what they have been doing has been in response to the fact that unprecedented numbers of users are confined to their homes.
In most cases, the operators have been taking steps to cope with the increased demand for data due to being at home, needing to conduct business from home, and craving entertainment while in confinement. This includes, on the one hand, making sure to provide enough data and provide it at an affordable price, given that many customers may have lost jobs or at least some of their income, and on the other hand, making sure that networks are beefed up so as to be able to cope with the increased traffic.
This example from Poland, however, is unusual in that it approaches the matter from the opposite end, so to speak. Play, the country’s newest operator and number four out of four in the marketplace, is offering a substantial (1 GB) bounty of free mobile data to subscribers in order to keep them at home. Essentially, the package, which can be activated 10 times per customer, is a public-service gesture that, by incentivizing people to remain in their homes rather than congregating in public place, will help reduce the further spread of the novel coronavirus.
As we know, public-service-oriented initiatives from MNOs tend to increase the regard in which an operators are held among the public, and thus to strengthen the operators’ brands and help with retention and acquisition. That certainly applies in this case. In addition, the free data will also likely burnish Play’s image in the minds of grateful subscribers. And beyond that, it could have the effect of stimulating data use and in the long run increasing Play’’s revenue to the extent that customers consume extra data in addition to that covered under the promotion.
The only negative point to mention is that the offering could be more effective if the operator did indeed check to make sure the subscribers were actually at home. Perhaps this could be done relatively easily by using geolocation, although privacy concerns could conceivably be raised by such a move.