The fourth quarter has traditionally been the most difficult for mobile operators in mature markets. Many customers join, but many others are leaving and operators typically dilute margins by having more equipment (and more expensive equipment) in the sales mix compared to the rest of the year.
Subscriber acquisition and retention costs are generally higher in the fourth quarter when the financial discipline of mobile operators is put aside to promote equipment at prices well below the operator purchase costs – as long as existing customers promise to stay or new customers are ready to commit to plans with high monthly fees.
But even though there are temporary setbacks, our industry is gradually moving in a more rational direction: Equipment subsidisation is less frequent today and many operators have stopped binding customers to long, inflexible, contracts. Mobile operators have developed their service offerings and are today capable of explaining why customers should stay – without having to throw in a new iPhone as part of the package. Continue reading 2016 was a great year for mobile customer loyalty