Essar Kenya (yu) Launches New Look and Free On-Net Calls All Day
Essar Kenya has launched a free all day on-net calls promotions. The company has announced that the offer will run for a period of time which they were not ready to stay though promising to up the game further. The move might either be a smart way of enticing numbers into the network for eventual sale or simply a move to maintain more on net calls.
The free calls in the network will run from 6am to 6pm everyday and it is not clear how long the promotion will last.
The company also launched a new Yellowish “refreshed look” with slogans like “no kidding”, “no monkey business” and others meant to lure the mass market. The slogans sounded controversial just from the time they were launched. But maybe the network looks to ride on controversy for popularity.
“We have injected yellow into our brand identity and refreshed the ways we communicate with our customers, to more accurately represent yuMobile’s identity – youthful, energetic and vibrant. We are going back to an exciting edge that will resonate more with our consumers.”
“By giving free calls all day, we are demonstrating our commitment to make mobile telephony more affordable and accessible to all. We are confident that our subscribers will embrace our repositioning as we continue work towards developing more innovative communication solutions that respond to all their needs.”
Some industry pundits believe that yu might even be using the “free calls” promotion to manage their debts. It would be very expensive for them to have their clients call off-net than on-net since that means they would be paying a lot more in interconnect rates. So say if yu clients make 15 million minutes in off-net calls to Orange, Airtel and Safaricom, the firm would be forced to pay 15 million x 2.21 to the other networks which is way expensive to them than have more numbers call on-net even for free.
Arguing that it would not be a good move for Essar Kenya to add numbers to its network, the pundits say this will eventually reveal in the books and might not help their case when they are talking to potential suitors. The presence of low value clients on a network erodes the brands worth and kills the spirit of any investor, analysts believe.
Others also argue that Essar Kenya has been good at attraction users to the network but never succeeded in making the same users loyal to the brand.
With the announcement, Kenyans in social media mostly believe that these are the last moves Essar Kenya is making. The new look is not relating well to Kenyans and the colours are not appealing to the African clients, so they argue.
Kevin Ouma tweeted Desperate and not sustainable kicks of a dying horse.
Other users were quick to welcome the move one even inviting ladies to send all their numbers to him so that he could chat them up all day. The new look was not much a point of discussion but the free calls all day drew lots of mixed reactions.
The company has launched the new look and promotion at a time when they don’t have long term plan investment in the company. The Indian owned company has said that they don’t see any need to invest in 3G at this moment arguing that majority don’t actually need 3G. The company has also not rolled out network beyond the few urban centres it has presence. It has remained an urban network while attracting the urban low earners with promos like free calls and cheap sms.
What do you think of the new Essar Kenya look and promotion? Please leave your comments below.