Mobile service provider, Fastlink, appeared on Saturday to retaliate against an aggressive pricing strategy announced last week by new market entrant, MobileCom. The one-time monopoly announced a new “surprise package” that included an elaborate scheme of lowered rates and expanded programs and incentives.
“As a result of our vast experience, network expansion and growth in number of subscribers, our operational costs declined, enabling us to come up with better offers, especially within the scope of our own network since there are no interconnection fees,” Fastlink CEO, Michael Dagher, told reporters during a press conference and luncheon hosted for the press — ostensibly to celebrate Fastlink's fifth anniversary — that alluded often to the new challenges posed by MobileCom.
The mobile pioneer in Jordan said it had slashed tariffs on post-paid dialing by 30 percent and would knock 20 percent off prepaid card values. The roughly dozen “packages” detailed by Fastlink offer rates as low as eight piastres a minute during off peak hours and a scale that reaches 14.5 piastres a minute — to dial “other mobile operators.”
Without a mention of the competition that emerged on the market last week, Fastlink officers said the package was “compiled according to Fastlink's appreciation of Jordanians' varying lifestyles and priorities” accumulated over its “long experience in the Jordanian market.”
“One might say that a variety of offers with numerous features could confuse the customer and complicate the choosing process,” said Fastlink marketing manager, Saed Abu Odeh, apparently alluding to MobileCom's pitch of simplicity to the public last week. “We disagree and believe that a wide range of offers gives the consumer more flexibility and a bigger opportunity to choose whatever suits his or her budget and requirements.”
MobileCom, the mobile service provider of Jordan Telecom, last week said it would offer customers a single tariff within all of its calling plans “to eliminate confusion about tariff changes due to peak and off peak times and calls to different networks or fixed lines.”
Fastlink said it would also continue to offer free voice mail, caller identification and call waiting/hold to both pre-paid and post-paid subscribers. The costs of such services in the past — 10 Jordanian dinars (JD) a month for caller ID, for example — has been a source of irritation for mobile phone subscribers who, until last week, could rely on only one mobile phone company.
Fastlink also dropped the required customer deposit from JD60 to JD25. While MobileCom said it would not require a deposit from new subscribers, Dagher told reporters that it would continue to require the deposit. But, he said, Fastlink customers with current accounts were entitled to reclaim their deposits, a process, he said, which has already started. — ( Jordan Times )
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