Tata And Future Launch T24 Mobile Service – Attractive Enough?

Consumers today are split for choice when it comes to a mobile network in India. Brands are vying to woo the customers by introducing new offers every day. When the market is already saturated with these players, it seems foolish for another player to try to carve out a niche in the market. But amidst all this,¬†you have a new mobile network T24. But don’t fret. T24 comes with a twist. It is an innovative product.

Tata Teleservices and Future group have launched a co-branded GSM mobile service called T24 that offers free talk time to customers who have purchased things at retail outlets owned by future group across the country. We have seen some innovations in the retail sector when discounts are offered. But this is one step further.

t24

Currently launched only in the Andra Pradesh circle, this service requires customers to enroll for a new connection. Free talk time would be provided for purchase above Rs. 500. For instance, if you make a purchase of Rs. 1501 at Big Bazaar, you would get 90 minutes worth talk-time. In addition, with every recharge, they would get special offers at the retail outlets. T24 offers per second billing as with Tata Docomo.

This is a unique tie up between a retailer and a telecom service provider. “Shop more, talk more” and vice versa is the value proposition of this service. It offers Tata Teleservices direct access to millions of Future Group customers due to its popularity and presence. Tata expects to expand its customer base while Future Group hopes to gain brand loyalty. Future group wants to expand its reach to petrol and electricity in the future. How the revenue would be split was not discussed though.

Now this brings up a few questions. Won’t this cut into Tata’s existing Docomo? Apparently not. Tata claims that Docomo can stand up on its own. T24 will use the existing infrastructure of Tata. If T24 offers the same services and costs of Docomo, then why would anyone buy Docomo? Instead they would use T24 and enjoy the added benefits of free talk time. Coming to this free talk time, look at what is being offered. You spend Rs. 1501 at Big Bazaar and you get 90 minutes worth talk time which amounts to Rs. 54. This is no reason for existing customers of other operators to shift to T24. Still, new customers might choose T24 over other services because of the added benefits. If Tata doesn’t have an ace up its sleeve, Docomo is surely going to suffer though.

What do you have to say about these increasing number of telecom players in the Indian market? Do you think T24 has enough features to tempt customers?

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