Vodafone Romania is offering an app called NetPrimesti (“receive internet”) that allows users to collect data bonuses that can be used over the operator’s Supernet 4.5 network. Bonuses, which are available to both postpaid and prepaid users, can reach up to 25 GB every 15 days and as much as 50 GB per month. They are calculated on the basis of data traffic registered by end-users themselves and other users, regardless of the network they are on. The NetPrimesti app is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Within the app, users can start or join a group of up to seven people, which may include family members or friends. The data bonus is added directly to the accounts of the Vodafone customers in that group. Mobile users from other networks as well as Vodafone Romania corporate customers can also join groups created through the NetPrimesti application and contribute to bonuses received by Vodafone individuals.
In addition, Vodafone Romania customers receive a one-time 10 GB bonus when they first join a NetPrimesti group called Smart Family. The new offer is valid until 15 June.
NetPrimesti is also available in a more complex version that allows more than just measuring data traffic. Once installed, the application calculates the cumulative data consumption of all users in a group.
We find this offer from Vodafone Romania to be very clever. Under the guise of companionship among friends and family, it encourages non-Vodafone users to switch over to Vodafone and effectively turns Vodafone users into salespeople for the operator. And all of this is perfectly above board and not deceptive in any way.
While some users may object to joining a group that uses an app that monitors the quantity of their data use, we do not think it likely that many will object, or that objections will be very strong. There does not appear to be any genuine invasion of privacy afoot here. After being on the app for a while, we imagine that the non-Vodafone users will grow impatient with letting their data usage add bonuses to other people’s accounts and start wanting it to add to their own allotments. Thus the potential of migration to Vodafone and a boost in acquisitions for the operator.
The metrics aspect of NetPrimesti will be appealing to many users, who are interested in knowing exactly how much data they have consumed, directly through the app, without needing to study complex bills. Plus there is an appeal to curiosity via the ability to know how much data one’s peers are consuming.
The bonus data amounts are quite generous, so much so, in fact, that one wonders whether end-users will be able to use it all. With some users, the more data they have, the more they will use; for others, at least the lure of getting something free of charge will stimulate them to use more data than they previously did, and the unused data will not cost the operator anything. Finally, the app is a good way to promote Vodafone’s developing 4.5G network, even if not all the data in question goes over that network.