The Rise and fall of the telecom Giant, Do we really miss Warid?
Last year saw massive competition within the telecom sector and the absorption of the competition driver, Warid telecom by the big red Airtel. Warid was praised for the many innovations it induced or gave birth to. The bundles both voice and data all this left many other Telco’s wondering about the mighty marketing strategy employed by the Telco that saw it win over many customers to its network especially the cost cautious ones. Warid helmed at the top till it was absorbed by Airtel in the so much hated marriage. That’s according to analysts and observers and if it’s proven true, the brand was one to reckon with.
Warid could realize revenue from increased subscriptions to its services
hat ingredient most loved about the Telco back when it was independent was its pricing strategy in all its offerings. It’s made a name for its self as a lower cost option compared to what other Telco charged. I personally loved its Smartphone’s pricing. It heavily subsidized its smart phones, though its Smartphone line up was small. The much loved ZTE C blade proved an overwhelming success and its predecessor. Its partnered with Chinese OEM, ZTE to bring these handsets to many hands of Ugandans at affordable prices. But this strategy proved profitable over the long run as the handsets were locked so Warid could realize revenue from increased subscriptions to its services. Revenue streams have changed over time with voice dropping calling in for new avenues to attract revenue. Big yellow, MTN Uganda took over the mobile money segment, but it’s seeing too much competition from the combined Airtelmoney/Warid Pesa services. Orange leads the data segment, but with this flat data charges across almost all Telco, competition is at least manifested in speeds.
Who will assume Warid’s positions in years to come?
Looking for ways of realizing revenue by Telco is their biggest goal as of now since Warid was neutralized. Though it was a small player with an estimated 1 million customers, its acquisition by Airtel wasn’t that welcome, but many are betting and anticipating things to get normal in the long run. Warid made its name as the most affordable network, but this position is quickly being taken up by Uganda Telecom with its aggressive marketing strategy as its restructuring its self from the woes it previously faced. This is not surprising as rumor has it that UTL took on the former Warid marketing team. All eyes are on who will assume Warid’s positions in years to come. But with the same charges across all networks, many are complaining that the telecom players formed a cartel and agreed on pricing which is not good for competition. So the regulator, UCC should intervene with these claims. Warid built a brand and a reputation that many loved though others hated it, many fell in love with it and it fiercely brought other telecom players on their knees. Such a reputation, so hard to forget.
These were the views of many people I tried interacting with about the Warid – Airtel merger and the responses and the views are peoples ‘opinions.