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Aircel Case Study

Solutions :: For Telecom Operators :: Aircel Case Study Aircel Case StudyO-Zones alliance with Aircel, India is a stepping stone in the telecommunication industry depicting how Wi-Fi can provide countless advantages to the telecom operators including

Cost and Technology Advantage :

Wi-Fi operates in a free spectrum no spectrum cost US Market predicts operators to save $40 bn through offload by 2015. AT&T is predicting to offload 70% of it traffic over Wi-Fi South Korean Telecom is offloading 40% of traffic over Wi-Fi In 2010, 14.93 petabytes of data were offloaded worldwide every month.

End User Experience :

Allowing end user to access content rich websites, use high bandwidth applications, use videos etc. In a nutshell a roller Coaster experience

Time to capacity advantages

An advantage that cannot be matched by building cellular capacity. Aircel, Indias strategy in this cluttered telecom space always has been to become a data -centric network with high focus on non-voice services. Aircel has always lead the telecom industry be exploring the Data Path starting from Aircel Pocket Internet to Aircel 3G and then Aircel Wi-Fi. They predictthat the advent of Wi-Fi access services will take a lot of load off from their current GSM infra and reduce data access costs. It will also provide a great value proposition to end subscribers especially Aircel Subscribers as the speed of data download will increase considerably. Today, O-Zone has successfully integrated its core network with Aircels network for Wi-Fi services. Thus allowing Aircel to White Label all O-Zones Wi-Fi hotspots as Aircel Wi-Fi hotspots and sell them to end subscribers. This includes real time billing mechanism based on whether the user belongs to the prepaid category or postpaid category.

We have implemented the following multiple authentication technique on Aircel Wi-Fi I. Web Based Approach II. SMS Based Approach III. EAP SIM based Approach This service will enable the end users to browse i.e., access the Internet and connect to mail clients, download information/entertainment content, and others while the user is at a hotspot with the convenience of billing mechanism (allowing the user to pay through his/her prepaid/postpaid account). Example Single Data Plan Aircel recently launched a single data plan exclusively for Aircel iphone 4S users. The iPhone users in their monthly plan are also getting 1 GB of Wi-Fi Usage Free apart from Voice Services and Data Services over 3G. Please refer to the template.

(2) Case Studies

One of India's leading media organization had a requirement to transfer heavy video files across the Internet back bone to a server hosted in US.


The challenge with customer was to implement a high performance and cost effective network that would provide best latencies towards US and high speed to upload data at click of a second.


Aircel Business Solutions designed a Internet based connectivity of 100 Mbps Internet link which offered Best Path to route the customer's traffic to their US servers. This ensured least possible latency to customer's video applications.


No restriction on volume of traffic being transferred on the link Customer got the best possible latency to their US servers with almost no packet drops Aircel has best peering in place with all major Service Providers in India as well as International carriers. This ensures higher redundancy along with best possible latency to customer's traffic.

(3) Case Studies

Aircel Business Solutions delivers global connectivity to an IT/ITES company

One of the renowned IT/ITES company that delivers Applications services, Infrastructure services, and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services globally through a

combination of technology knowhow, domain and process expertise had a need of clear channel leased circuit between Pune and Colombo.

Our Solution

Aircel Business Solutions IPLC service between Pune and Sri Lanka offered an excellent and cost effective connectivity option to the customer. The IPLC circuit was deployed fast as Aircel share holder is an incumbent in Sri Lanka. With the advantage of owning the cable landing station in Sri Lanka the circuit was designed, deployed and integrated in no time.

Key Features and Benefits

High availability - protected network solution 24x7 proactive monitoring and management

Case Details:
Case Code Case Length Period Pub Date Teaching Note : MKTG273 : 18 Pages : 2005-2011 : 2011 : Not Available

For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500; For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Brand Management / Marketing Communication

Organization Industry Countries

: Aircel : Telecom : India

This case is about the promotional strategies adopted by India-based mobile operator Aircel. Aircel entered the highly competitive Indian telecom market in the year 1999. It adopted innovation as its key branding strategy and communicated with customers through simple and thoughtful advertising campaigns. The case discusses the various marketing strategies adopted by a relatively late entrant into the Indian market and how it increased its subscriber base. Aircel was one of the first mobile operators to introduce its advertising campaign on Facebook. The case explains how Aircel promoted its services through several media like TV, print, out-of-home (OOH), and radio. It used celebrity endorsement as well as cause-related marketing. Within a short time of its launch, Aircel had become one of the top mobile operators in India. According to experts, the company's unique promotional strategies helped it survive and grow in the highly competitive telecom sector. The case concludes by highlighting the challenges Aircel could face as a relatively new player in the highly competitive and fast-saturating Indian mobile phone market. This case is aimed at MBA/MS level students as part of the Brand Management/ Marketing Communication/ Marketing Management curriculum.

Study the promotional strategies of Aircel Study how Aircel differentiated itself by focusing on innovative marketing campaigns Understand issues and challenges in out-of-home (OOH) and cause-related marketing Understand the importance of innovative marketing for mobile operators Analyze the impact of advertising on the revenue growth of a company Understand the issues and challenges faced by new players in the mobile services sector Explore the future strategies Aircel could adopt to increase its subscriber base.

Page No. Not A Me Too? The Indian Telecom Industry About Aircel Promotional Strategy Out of Home Advertising (OOH) Advertising with CSR Cause Related Marketing Television and Print Advertising Internet and Mobile Advertising Results Looking Ahead Exhibits 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9 10 13

Differentiation, Promotional strategies, Innovative marketing campaigns, Out-of-home (OOH), Causerelated marketing, Celebrity brand endorsement, Sponsorships, Advertising, Core values of the brand, brand communication, Internet and mobile advertising, Aircel, Telecom, India "Our marketing strategy aims to bring to the forefront the multi-functionality of the phone."1 - Rahul Saighal, Chief Marketing Officer, Aircel in 2009. "I've never seen as many innovations on any other brand on such a consistent basis. The circle teams at Aircel have been pushing us to raise the bar on innovations. We are trying to create 'opportunities to chat' and people are actually talking about them, so it's been quite a success."2 - Aneil Deepak, Senior Vice-President, Primesite3 in 2009.

Not A Me Too?
In 2009, India-based mobile operator Aircel Limited (Aircel) bagged the CMAI INFOCOM4 National Telecom Award 2009 for 'Excellence in Marketing of New Telecom Service'. Launched in 1999, Aircel was the fastest growing mobile operator in the country with a subscriber base of over 48 million as of 2010. It had a presence in 23 Telecom Circles and was the market leader in the Tamil Nadu, Assam, North-East, and Chennai circles.

Not A Me Too? Contd...

On receiving the award, Gurdeep Singh (Singh) COO, Aircel, said, "This award means a lot to us as this acknowledges our pan-India presence and further encourages us to become a Mass Iconic Brand that truly believes in earning for itself a satisfied customer base, proud employees, & competition that respects us."5 Aircel, a late entrant into the competitive Indian telecom sector, adopted innovation as its key branding strategy. The service provider focused on the multi-functionality of the product. Aircel offered fresh networks, simplified tariff plans, and good Value Added Services (VAS) to subscribers. The core values of the Aircel brand were Simplicity, Creativity, and Trustworthiness. In the year 2009, the most innovative advertising and marketing campaigns came from Aircel. The brand communicated with customers through simple, thoughtful ads. It positioned itself around the tagline, 'Explore Your World of Possibilities', and targeted youth across multiple segments. The mobile operator tried to increase its market share by offering competitive tariff plans and VAS offerings like location-based services & phone banking to attract subscribers in metros. Aircel was also associated with the Indian Premier league (IPL)6, as the official sponsor of the Chennai Super Kings team. It had initially roped in Indian Cricket Captain M.S. Dhoni (Dhoni) for advertisements and branding...

Excerpts Contd...

The Indian Telecom Industry

The telecom sector in India was regulated by Telecom Authority of India (TRAI). The main players in the telecom industry were state-owned mobile operators, private Indian-owned companies, and foreign investment companies...

About Aircel
Launched in 1999, the Aircel Group was a joint venture between Maxis Communications Berhad (Maxis) of Malaysia and Apollo Hospital Enterprise Ltd (Apollo) of India, with Maxis holding a majority stake of 74%...

Promotional Strategy
Aircel came out with innovative marketing techniques to attract customers. It focused on its core values - Simplicity, Creativity, and Trustworthiness - and positioned itself around the tagline, 'Explore Your World of Possibilities'...

Out of Home Advertising (OOH)

Aircel, which had confined itself to the southern states until 2005, needed an ingenious marketing campaign when it entered the North. Hence, the company used OOH extensively which it thought to be effective and different...

Advertising with CSR

In March 2009, Aircel put up an inflated raft on a bill board at Milan Subway in Mumbai, which had witnessed a lot of flooding during the monsoon season. The message on the bill board read, "In case of emergency, cut rope"...

Cause Related Marketing

On January 30, 2010, Aircel in association with WWF-India launched a social campaign called "Save our Tigers" to raise awareness about the dwindling population of tigers in India and across the globe...

Excerpts Contd...

Television and Print Advertising

During the launch of Aircel, integration routes were worked out on leading General Entertainment Channels such as Star Plus. On the day of the launch, Aircel flooded all the channels with its advertisements and the brand was launched during prime time by the leading protagonists of the top five shows on Star Plus...

Internet and Mobile Advertising

To achieve mass reach, Aircel chose mass portals like- Yahoo.com, MSN.com, Rediff.com, Sify.com, and Indiatimes.com. Cashing in on the passion for cricket in India, it took high impact cricket properties on Cricinfo.com, rediff scorecard, and the MSN cricket & sports section...

According to some analysts, Aircel had come a long way from being a Chennai-based telecom operator to a pan-Indian mobile operator with a subscriber base of over 50 million at the end of 2010...

Looking Ahead
According to some industry experts, Aircel was a relatively small player in the Indian mobile services market and over 57% of its subscribers were based in just one state i.e. Tamil Nadu. As of March 2010, Aircel was at the fifth place among GSM operators in India, with a market share of 8.38% after Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, and BSNL...

Exhibit I: Subscriber Base of Mobile Phone Operators (GSM & CDMA) (March 2005-March 2009) Exhibit II: Aircel - OOH Advertising Exhibit III: Aircel Boat Campaign Exhibit IV: Screenshot of "Save Our Tigers" Website Exhibit V: Market Share of Mobile Service Providers (as on August 31, 2010)