Megaphone strikes Tele2 with a preemptive strike

    Megafon subscribers in all cities of Russia are waiting for a change. Starting November 9, Megafon will no longer take into account so-called on-net calls in the All-Inclusive package plans (there are five in total). Minutes of the conversation, for which a fixed fee is charged, will now be added up only from calls to numbers of other operators. Inside the network, you can call without restrictions, said a representative of Megafon Julia Dorokhina.

    According to her, about 25% of Megafon’s Russian subscribers use the tariffs of the All Inclusive line. About 60% of their calls are on-net.

    The operator makes such a gift for subscribers for a reason. Probably, Megafon specifically announced innovations in anticipation of Tele2 operator entering the capital market. "Megamind" wrote that October 22 Tele2launched in Moscow.

    All operators of the Big Three have long been accustomed to calling on-net calls free of charge, but this is not entirely accurate, Vedomosti correspondents found out .

    Operator package offers most often include on-net calls. So, at VimpelComin the “Everything” line (six tariff plans), only the most economical option - 200 rubles per month - does not include on-net calls. In the rest, they are indirectly charged, although these packages include so many services that more than cover the needs of subscribers in calls to any numbers, admits Anna Aybasheva, representative of VimpelCom. At Vimpelcom, approximately 30% of Russian subscribers use packet tariffs, she said. According to 2013 data, in Moscow VimpelCom received about 40% of revenue throughout Russia.

    For MTS, in the cheapest version of the Smart tariff line, on-net calls in the home region are outside the limit, while in the rest they are taken into account, it follows from the information on the site. Intranet calls over the limit are completely free, point out Aibashev and Solodovnikov.

    Tele2 will not reveal Moscow tariffs until October 21. They vary from region to region, says Tele2 spokesman Konstantin Prokshin: for example, in St. Petersburg on-net calls spend minutes from a packet, but this does not mean that it will be the same in Moscow, a number of innovations await Muscovites.

    The manager of one of the Big Three companies spoke about the scheme for Tele2 to enter new cities: first, the operator sets tariffs 20–50% below the market, and reduces the discount as the market share increases.

    In addition to free on-net calls, Megafon increases its Internet traffic packets. In particular, at the most popular tariff of the line - “All Inclusive M”, the size of available Internet traffic will increase from 4 to 5 gigabytes, which can now be spent on trips around Russia.

    The actions of Megafon are logical precisely in anticipation of the fourth player entering the market, the source of Vedomosti admits. If, for example, a subscriber decides to switch from Megafon to Tele2, his relatives and friends will have to do this. Otherwise, the metropolitan Tele2 customers will have to mostly call the numbers of the Big Three operators. Thus, Tele2 will be deprived of the advantage of a large subscriber base, allowing customers to communicate for free within the network.

    Now all the marketing activities of the "Big Three" are somehow related to entering the Moscow Tele2 market, iKS-Consulting analyst Maxim Savvatin is sure. But in the future they are unlikely to be heavily dumped: they have strong positions in the market, and Tele2 will take time to supplant them.

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