New mobile phone company We4G, an Xfone subsidiary, finished August 2018 with 11,580 additional subscribers: 13,837 new subscribers recruited from other companies and a loss of 2,257 subscribers to competitors.
The figures show that while We4G leads the market in new subscribers, its pace of recruitment is slowing down. When the company began its activity in April-May, it was picking up 20,000 new subscribers a month from other companies, plus more new subscribers using mobile phone services for the first time, a number that is not reported but is believe to amount to several thousand subscribers each month. Sources close to We4G said that the company was meeting its subscription targets.
The prevailing view in the market is that some of We4G's competitors have decided to discontinue their bargain campaigns aimed against the company. The company's presence is still affecting prices in the market, but other companies are preferring to upgrade their customer bases, while foregoing customers who leave because they can get a price that is a few shekels lower. For mobile phone companies, recruiting a new subscriber involves paying a sizeable premium to various marketers, rendering the benefit of fighting for price-oriented customers in every situation questionable.
Evidence of this can be found in the second largest recruiter of new subscribers - Rami Levy Communications, whose prices are very competitive in general and especially in the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) sector. Rami Levy added 2,190 net subscribes in August.
Pelephone Communications Ltd. preserved its positive momentum and its regular market share policy with a net gain of 1,420 subscribers. 019 Mobile kept its high place among recruiters of new subscribers with 1,313.
All the other companies lost net subscribers in August. Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL), for example, lost 1,600 net subscribers, Golan Telecom 2,770, and Hot Mobile 5,770, showing that the latter had replaced its market share policy with a customer base improvement policy even at the cost of losing customers.
Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR) was at the bottom, losing 6,400 net subscribers while maintaining its usual policy of non-marketing activity at the cost of losing subscribers, but thereby improving its bottom line.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 2, 2018
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