Can Mobile Operators Really Do Much, In the Near Term, About Price Wars?

Price wars can be quite destabilizing in the short term. 

In France, nine percent of the annual revenue of the more established mobile operators was lost in one year, argues Itamar Altalef, vice president at marketing services firm Pontis.

In Israel, average revenue per user declined 36 percent, with an 87 percent increase in the number of subscribers churning to new providers, he says.

What mobile service providers can do about such price wars in the short term, perhaps is limited, other than to match offers in ways that protect existing market share. 

In the long term, perhaps perversely, the strongest firms in any market will tend to benefit from such price wars, as they bleed financially-weaker competitors, especially those with high fixed costs, high debt or inability to match the market-leading offers. 

Mobile service providers get lots of advice about what to do, naturally, from suppliers of services intended to aid service providers in gaining or retaining customers. Such advice might help, long term. In the near term, almost nothing other than marching competitor offers is feasible, really.

Creation of separate "value" brands is a staple, but those sorts of moves are long term in nature, not generally effective in the near term when a price war breaks out. 

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