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December 13, 2000
Press Release

Hutchison sets sight on increasing roaming revenues
Spearheads country's first ever loyalty program for roamers

In a major initiative to build brand equity among the increasing roaming population, three Hutchison associate companies-Hutchison Max Telecom in Mumbai, Sterling Cellular in Delhi and Usha Martin Telekom (UMTL) in Calcutta, have initiated a unique program termed Roaming Rewards for using their networks to be launched shortly.

Announcing the initiative, Mr Sanjeev Vohra, Vice President Sales & Marketing HMTL said, "In the last two years since automatic roaming was introduced by us, Hutchison and its associates have seen a 550% growth in roaming subscriptions within its post paid customer base. Over 80,000 customers of Hutchison and its associates in India subscribe to the roaming service . We see roaming as a key focus segment to drive revenues especially since our associates offer quality networks in major metros and we can leverage our presence in these circles."

Hutchison's associates in India have over 375 roaming relationships providing connectivity to approximately 3 lakh Indian GSM customers and over 140 million international GSM customers into India at Delhi, Calcutta and Mumbai. An average of over 100,000 roaming customers visit Hutchison networks and use over 3.4 million minutes of airtime in a given month making it the probably the largest roaming usage in any one set of affiliates in India.

"The total roaming minutage per month in India today is in the range of approximately 25 million minutes, of which Hutchison and its associates in India accounts for 28%. Net revenues are growing at the rate of approximately 6% per month, while subscribers are growing at approximately 10%. The Roaming Rewards should give a further filip to the trend" Mr Vohra added commenting on the autoroaming market in India.

Today, close to 400,000 GSM subscribers in India have access to roaming services, which enable them to use their services in national and international locations outside their home network. This service enables them to be contacted on a single number while traveling outside their home networks. Roaming subscribers contribute a significant part of the revenues to visited networks.

Under this program, national roaming customers will receive reward points based on their roaming usage in these Hutchison circles. These points can be earned on leading Loyalty Programmes . Flying Returns - ( Joint frequent flier program of Air India & Indian Airlines ) , TOP ( Frequent guest program ) of the Oberoi Group and with Bonus Rewards Program of - HSBC Credit Cards.

"The initial choice of these service providers has been done to provide maximum benefit to roaming our customers since a majority of them frequently avail of the services of these service providers. The company has plans to rope in more partners to extend the benefits," Mr Vohra said.

The roaming customer will have the option of choosing an alliance partner by calling 500 (toll-free) for registering on to the program . The reward points will be forwarded to the alliance partners once every month (on the 15th of the next month for any given month) and accordingly the bills of alliance partners will reflect the points accrued. The current value of points for each Alliance Partner is for Rs 100 of airtime used-12 Mileage Points with Air India or seven Bonus Rewards with HSBC or five TOP Points with Oberoi.

The roaming reward points are calculated on the basis of the duration of the call. (for instance if a subscriber speaks for 25 seconds on one call, he/she would get points for 25 seconds). These points are added to the Alliance Partner's reward programme and can be redeemed as per redemption offers provided for by the respective loyalty/rewards programs.