Number portability: giving an Idea to the fence sitters

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Number Portability as a concept may have lost its sheen – it’s been so long coming, but it’s coming nevertheless. The rising popularity of dual SIM mobile phones and a perception that ‘all networks are the same’ could be further deterrents to switching mobile operators. Motivations to switch could be extremely poor network coverage in your area of use, lack of 3G services in your circle, recent bad experience with customer service or a perception that other operators offer better tariff plans.

Whatever be the reason, I think switching operators still needs a gentle push. And that’s exactly what IDEA does extremely well with their ‘No idea, Get Idea‘ campaign.The common practice of saying ‘No idea!’ to things beyond one’s control is cleverly used in the context of reminding people of the reasons to consider a switch.

Between tactical stuff like this and preachy stuff that the brand does occasionally, I prefer this. As for me, my iPhone is locked with Airtel and I have no intention of jail-breaking it, though I would love to use a BSNL or Tata Docomo card on it. And oh, I would insist on a 3G network – I use one (BSNL) in my iPad which has spoiled me completely. But for a whole lot of consumers, the number portability ads will create dissonance. Will they switch to Idea? Advertising can’t guarantee that.

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  1. Funny thing. that you say that BSNL 3g has spoiled you. The only reason I am changing my number is that I have BSNL on both sims and am at my wits end coming to terms with the horrendus network. The TRAI report ( open the PDF for audit link, scroll down to page 10. > says that the Call congestion rates are in the 1% areas for BSNL. Now South Mumbai areas could be well covered, but out in the suburbs the making a call itself is a challenge. Add to this the futility of making a call in a low network area, and dont even think of going into any buildings for that matter if you expect to have an important call. This is when I am in mumbai limits.
    Once I move out, I literally have to keep the phone on the window sill, and pray that the network gods are happy and are letting my calls through. Even then every monday of mine has a requisite 10-15 patients saying that my phone is always apparently not reachable. Hell, I even tried calling one cell from the other and the network says that the cell has moved out of the coverage area even when they are on the same table!!.

    Keeping fingers crossed for the Number portability thing. We need a study / poll of people who are switching networks and the reasons for them. That will make for a good retrospective study, and for fun compare it with trai report for the real story

  2. Very well done on a topic that I am not accustomed to thinking much about. I guess I should keep my ears peeled and my mind opened a bit more.

  3. Dear Mr Bhat,

    I enjoyed the Ad and your comment on the Ad.

    BSNL no comments as I am also happy with their services. My friends use Idea with which they are happy too. Airtel has a technical problem. As per my knowledge, frequency spectrum offered to Airtel is in upper side (1800) which creates problem of signal to noise ratio and call drops etc. Therefore Airtel has to erect more towers to offer comparable services.

    Coming to the Ad world – my question to you is – how would you counter this Idea TVC? Say in case of BSNL or Airtel? Perhaps it is a business secret not to be share here.



    • I think competing brands can advantage of number portability by going beyond mere advertising. Yes, IDEA advertising creates curiosity, even dissonance perhaps. But if some brand were to 'prove' in some manner that they offer a better product it would be more credible.

  4. Heyyy

    Idea is worst service provider….call drops….no network….network buzy…..msgs dont get delivered……evn in city center….thr is no network……worst of all, better to go for other providers, m a idea user n couldnt change my no. since i hv been using since 4 yrs…but would definitely change !dea….

  5. Balakrishna Reply

    Recently i got a aircel post paid connection i faced so many technical Problems an few days back i am going to my village there is no connectivity aircel. There is good signal of !dea that the reason of i suggest !dea every where

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