Of the seven mobile carriers in Hong Kong: CSL’s One2Free, CSL’s 1010, Hutchison’s 3 HK, PCCW Mobile, Smartone-Vodafone (SMV), China Mobile and China Unicom, SMV may be the one that tries to deliver the best quality of service the hardest. This is why I am writing this open letter to SMV, hoping that the CEO and others in charge see it and finally make a change.
I understand Smartone-Vodafone is a business that needs to make money, and your business is to deliver mobile communication and data connectivity to the people in Hong Kong.
The way I see it is that majority of your revenue comes from monthly subscribers and pay-as-you-go customers. With the sales of handsets and other 3G radio equiped devices rounding out the remainder of your revenue.
You currently have several voice only, data only, and voice/data combine tariff plans. All of these come in both contract and Flexi versions of the tariff. What I want to focus on are the data plans.
I’m sure you are happy to see that your existing and potential customers are surrounded with more and more devices equipped with 3G or better radios. I am also certain you will love to have all these devices connected to the SMV network and use paid data on it.
Given this situation many of your existing and potential customers are faced with the delima of whether to commit to multiple 3G contracts for their devices. Or choose which of these devices to allow to connect to the SMV 3G network. With the latter resulting in lesser revenue to SMV.
We both know that these 3G radio equped devices will be much more functional if they are connected, resulting in higher revenue per customer just because the devices are connected.
You may already see where I am going with this. For example if a customer have a MacBook, an iPhone and an iPad they will have to commit to a voice/data contract for his iPhone, a data contract for his iPad and one more for his MacBook.
The type of devices is not that important here, what is important is that this example customer above has to sign 3 separate contracts with SMV.
Not only is this costly undertaking, there must be extra administrative cost to SMV to maintain and serve this customer.
What I propose instead may sound like something radical in the telecom industry, but in the long run it may increase the revenue of SMV per customer. While at the same time makes SMV looks chic enough to realize, carrier should treat mobile voice/data service as an utility, which everyone needs and not try to dictate how its customer use the service.
SMV should offer new voice and/or data plans that enable N number of devices to connect to its 3G network simultaneously. If the customer needs more simultaneous devices he can pay more.
I may be describing the needs of the advance users here but these are the users who will generate the most revenue and in turn help advance SMV’s infrastructure.
Now that this Open Letter is published, I’m sure your 6 other competitors in Hong Kong will see it. With the pending arrival of the iPad and alike devices time is running short. So it is now up to you to stand out among your competitors and show us why we should be loyal to SMV instead of churning.
Look forward to your actions and attention to this matter.
I hope as many of you, who agrees or disagree with me, will contribute your opinion of my proposal to SMV in the form of comments below.
Let see if SMV reacts appropriately.