The mobile phone bargains are at a peak, and it is difficult to avoid the impression that some of the companies have become hysterical, offering bargains that the Israeli consumer never dreamed of. Subscriber churn figures show that in Xfone's first month in the market through its We4G brand, it has garnered 13,000 net subscribers. The actual number of people joining the company is higher, because Xfone recruited several thousand customers who were not previously subscribers of any company.
The figures show that the bargains offered in response by all the other companies succeeded in taking customers away from We4G, whose leading mobile telephony package of 40 gigabytes surfing lifetime at NIS 29 a month aroused fierce competition in the market. The competitors' bargains may have been for shorter periods, but they were no less effective.
The biggest loss of subscribers was 4,500 by Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL), followed by HOT Mobile Ltd.,which today announced a one-year 70 gigabyte mobile telephony package for NIS 24 a month. Partner Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: PTNR; TASE: PTNR), which offered extremely aggressive bargains, managed to stanch its bleeding of subscribers, while Pelephone Communications Ltd. and Golan Telecom Ltd. both finished the month with losses of about 2,000 subscribers each.
The only company on a growth trend, which also offered an unprecedented three-year bargain of NIS 29 a month for 100 gigabytes, is 019 Mobile. The company gained 1,800 subscribers, and has been consistently growing for some time.
In another prominent market trend, Xfone's entry into the market did not substantially increase churn, which has remained at more or less 180,000 per month in recent months. This means that those changing companies are mainly price-sensitive bargain-hunting customers, while most customers are still in no hurry to switch. The question is whether churn will increase next month following the bargains resulting from hysteria on the part of some companies.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 30, 2018
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