1.Introduction Aktel is a dynamic and leading countrywide GSM communication solutions provider.

It is a joint venture company between Axiata and NTT DoCoMo, Japan. Aktel was officially commenced its operations in 1997 among the pioneers GSM mobile telecommunications provider in Bangladesh. In this report, We want to know the sales promotional activitivities of AKTEL.

2. Background of the study

It has started its commercial operation in Dhaka as a Global system for mobile communication (GSM) 900 cellular operators on 15th November 1997. Moreover, Aktel has commenced its operation in Chittagong on March 26, 1998. Aktel is the market follower in telecommunication service in Bangladesh having more than 1 million subscribers and is controlling approximately 23% of the market share. As the socioeconomic status of the country does not provide further possibilities to enhance the growth of the industry, as a market follower, Aktel should strive to retain its existing subscribers and penetrate other operator’s subscriber. Therefore, there is an emergence of studying the related facets of the customer loyalty in the context of Bangladesh GSM telecommunication system for Aktel to retain and increase its market share. Hence, in the current study, the cutomers try to compare the sales promotional activities with other operators. Vision: To be a leader as a Telecommunication Service Provider in Bangladesh. Mission: Aktel aims to achieve its vision through being number ‘one’ not only in terms of market share, but also by being an employer of choice with up-to-date knowledge and products geared to address the ever changing needs of our budding nation.

Theme: Aktel always strives to uphold the dictum ‘Customer First’. Quality Policy: Aktel is committed to achieving leadership in customer satisfaction by continually improving its processes, products and services to ensure they consistently exceed customers’ requirements. We will develop and implement technology and infrastructure that enable us to be clearly ahead in Bangladesh and to enhance the mobility experience of our customers.

Customer Satisfaction Customer satisfaction is becoming an increasingly salient topic in many firms and in academic research (Söderlund, 1998). Anderson et al. (1994) affirmed that satisfaction is a post consumption experience which compares perceived quality with expected quality. Correspondingly, Oliver (1996) defines satisfaction as an emotional post-consumption response that may occur as the result of comparing expected and actual performance (disconfirmation), or it can be an outcome that occurs without comparing expectations On the other hand, some previous researchers have explained customer satisfaction in terms of expectation. 1983; LaBarbera & Mazursky, 1983). They define if expectations are exceeded by Equally, Buswell (1983) identified customer Those are knowledge of staff, performance; satisfaction is generated (Churchill & Surprenant, 1982; Bearden & Tell, satisfaction as a combination of five key attitudes.

communications, expertise of staff, willingness to lend and branch design. Consequently, Berry, Zeithaml, and Parasuraman (1985) argued that customer satisfaction can be defined as the attributes of search, experience, and credence. Yi (1990) believes customer satisfaction should mean evaluation, symbolizing a type of consuming experience. Avkiran (1994) recognized customer satisfaction by customer conduct, credibility, communication, access to teller services. Simultaneously, according to Anderson and Fornell (1994), customer satisfaction is the term which may lower the chance of customers being driven away due to the poor

quality of products or services. Fornell (1992) noted that the more satisfied customers are the one that are greater in their retention while, Anderson and Sullivan (1993) added that satisfied customer would intend to repeat purchase which would enhance organizations’ profitability. than merely satisfied customer Spreng, MacKenzie, and Olshavsky (1996), alternatively, defined satisfaction as the emotional reaction to a product or service experience. Oliver (1997) defined satisfaction as the customer's fulfillment response. It is a judgment that a product or service feature, or the product or service itself, provides a pleasurable level of consumption- related fulfillment. The most common interpretations reflect the notion that satisfaction is a feeling which results from a process of evaluating what was received against that expected, the purchase decision itself and the fulfillment to needs or want (Armstrong & Kotler, 1996: Berkowitz, Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 1999). Kotler (1999) also noted that satisfaction is a function of perceived performance and expectations which identifies feelings of a person resulting from comparing a products perceived performance in relation to his or her expectations. Wong (2000) believes that a customer’s total satisfaction is an emotional perception. Evaluation is based on the customer’s reaction from using the product or service. Customer satisfaction then is a total satisfaction that leaves a good perception. The perception of this wholeness is very similar to the meaning of customer value package brought up by Fredericks and Salter (1995). The customer value package includes: price; product quality; service quality; innovation; and corporate image. Moreover, Martensen, Grùnholdt, and Kristersen (2000) also discovered that expectation, product quality, and corporate image are three facilitating factors in ensuring customer satisfaction. In association with this Jones and Sasser (1995) acknowledged that completely satisfied customers are those who are much more loyal

Hackl and Scharitzer (2000) have identified customer satisfaction as economic goalsand have considered customer satisfaction as a prerequisite for customer retention and loyalty, and obviously that tend to help in realizing economic goals like profitability, market share, return on investment Sureschandar et al. (2002) introduced different approach of customer satisfaction and defined customer satisfaction as multidimensional construct. According to Bitner and Zeithaml (2003), satisfaction is the customers’ evaluation of a product or service in terms of whether that product or service has met their needs and expectations. The researchers reveal that satisfaction can as well be viewed as contentment, pleasure, delight, and relief. Thus they noted customer satisfaction as a dynamic and moving target that may evolve over time, influenced by variety of factors. Guenzi and Pelloni (2004) use the following definition of satisfaction in their study: “Overall satisfaction is the consumer’s dissatisfaction or satisfaction with the organization based on all encounters and experiences with that particular organization” (Bitner & Hubbert, 1993). Fe and Ikova (2004) added that the perception of the word satisfaction influences the activities which we conduct to achieve customer satisfaction. Boselie, Hesselink, and Wiele (2002) defined satisfaction as a positive, affective state resulting from the appraisal of all aspects of a firm’s working relationship with another firm. This definition purported that satisfaction (understood as affective) can be contrasted with an objective summary assessment of outcomes – thereby forming a target-performance comparison mechanism. Therefore, the appropriate definition of customer satisfaction for this study would be the one by Boselie et al. (2002).

Customer Loyalty The importance of loyalty has been widely recognized in the marketing literature (Oliver, 1999; Samuelson & Sandvik, 1997; Howard & Sheth, 1969). According to Duffy (2003), loyalty is the feeling that a customer has about a brand which ultimately generates positive and measurable financial results. Soderlund (1998) drew on the concept of loyalty as the extent to which the customer intends to purchase again from the supplier who has created a certain level of satisfaction. Loyalty, in one or more of the forms noted above, creates increased profit through enhanced revenues, reduced costs to acquire customers (Sharp & Sharp, 1997), lower customer-price sensitivity

(Krisnamurthi & Raj, 1991), and decreased costs to serve customers familiar with a firm's service delivery system (Reicheld & Sasser, 1990). Customer loyalty represents the repeat purchase and referring the company to other customers (Heskett, 1994). Improvements in retention and increasing in the share of the company are the obvious economic benefit of customer loyalty. According to Feick and Lee (2001), customer loyalty has been measured as the long term choice probability for a brand or as a minimum differential needed for switching. Loyal customers are less likely to switch because of price and they make more purchases than similar non-loyal customers (Reichheld & Sasser, 1990). Oliver (1997) viewed customer loyalty as a deeply held commitment to rebuy or repatronize a preferred product or service consistently in the future, despite situational influences and marketing efforts having the potential to cause switching behavior. Customer loyalty reduces marketing costs and that the relative costs of customer retention are substantially less than those of acquisition (Fornell & Wernerfelt, 1987). Hallowel (1996) characterize customer loyalty as the relationship a customer maintains with the seller after the first transaction. Customer loyalty is often referred to as a purchase behavior (Griffin, 1996). On the other hand, customer loyalty is approached as an attitudinal construct. Attitude denotes the degree to which a consumer’s disposition towards a service is favorably inclined (Azjen & Fishbein, 1980). In addition to attitude, it has been argued that loyalty may also be based on cognition (Lee & Zeiss, 1980). In its cognitive sense, customer loyalty is frequently operationalised as a conscious evaluation of the price/quality ratio or the willingness to pay a premium price, or alternatively price indifference (Fornell, 1992; Zeithaml et al., 1996). Jacoby and Kyner (1973) elaborated that the definition of loyalty includes six necessary conditions – that loyalty is the biased (that is, nonrandom), behavioural (that is, purchase) response, expressed over time, by some decision-making unit (a person or group of persons), with respect to one or more alternative brands out of a set of such brands, and is a function of psychological processes (decision-making, evaluative).

On the contrary, Oliver (1999) argues that customer loyalty is a condition of strong involvement in the repurchase, or reuse, of a product or brand. This involvement is strong enough to overcome the situational and competitive influences which might drive a variety seekers or a switching behavior. This condition of customer loyalty is reached through four sequential stages: cognitively loyal (direct or indirect knowledge about the brand), affective loyalty (repeated confirmations of his expectations), conative loyalty (high involvement that is a motivating force), and action loyalty (‘desire to overcome’ every possible obstacle that might come in the way of the decision to buy the brand to which the person is loyal). On the word of Gremler and Brown (1996) customer loyalty is noted by the degree to which a customer exhibits repeat purchasing behavior from a service provider, possesses a positive attitudinal disposition towards the provider, and considers using only those providers when a need for the service arises. Correspondingly, Kandampully (2000) stated that a loyal customer is a customer who repurchases from the same service provider whenever possible, and who continues to recommend or maintains a positive attitude towards the service provider. In relation with this, Pong and Yee (2001) is defined as the willingness of customer to consistently re-patronize the same service provider/service company that may be the first choice among alternatives, thereby complying with actual behavioral outcomes and attaching with favorable attitude and cognition, regardless of any situational influences and marketing efforts made to induce switching behavior. Zeithaml (2000) affirmed that loyalty is repeated transactions (or percentage of total transactions in the category, or total expenditures in the category) and can sometimes be measured quite simply with observational techniques. Furthermore, a briefer and more specific definition is provided by Anderson and Srinivasan (2003), who define loyalty in contest of electronic business as the customer’s favorable attitude toward an electronic business, resulting in repeat purchasing behavior. Loyalty deals with specific behaviors related to repurchasing the service or product (Durvasula, Lynoski, Mehta, & Tang, 2004).

Wong (2004) suggested customer loyalty as a key mediating variable in explaining customer retention (Pritchard & Howard, 1997) which is concerned with the likelihood of a customer returning, making business referrals, providing strong word-ofmouth, as well as providing references and publicity (Bowen & Shoemaker, 1998). Pearson (1996) defines customer loyalty in term of those customers who hold favorable attitudes toward the company, commit to repurchase the product/service, and recommend the product/service to others. Hence, the researchers of the current study will use the definition of Pearson (1996) to define customer loyalty.

Aktel prepaid: Aktel Prepaid has everything to offer; a single package that delivers simplicity and flexibility at the same time. Aktel Prepaid is continuously adding new features and plans to provide absolute freedom to the customers. Why Aktel Prepaid?
• • • • • • • • • • •

Prepaid Kingdom of Aktel offers all its Prepaid customers: Single prepaid package with the best rates in the market Different tariff plans in one package to meet different types of needs Instant, easy & multiple migration facility from one tariff plan to another 5 FnF to any operator mobile with one Aktel partner facility Full BTCL connectivity with FREE BTCL incoming Economy ISD (EISD) facility to call 55 countries of the world by dialing 012 Extended and simplified refill validity for ease and freedom Nationwide EasyLoad facility Nationwide Internet connectivity All available Value Added Services (e.g. SMS, MMS, GoonGoon, ringtone, wallpaper, games, animation downloads)

Get a new connection:
• • • • •

Package price Tk. 148 Welcome gift of Tk. 25 talk-time upon activation (applicable for any purpose) 60 days validity on activation Default tariff plan will be Simple (with migration facility) Available at Aktel Customer Care, Aktel Care Point & all the mobile outlets nationwide

Prepaid tariff:
Aktel Package Info Service: To know your existing tariff plan/ package/ benefits that you are enjoying, just Dial *140*14# or type P and SMS to 8822

Uddokta Super tariff

Particulars TK./min Outgoing To Aktel To other Operator To BTCL (Local/NWD) To International (IDD/EIDD)* Incoming From any number worldwide FreePulse Outgoing 60 sec from 1st minute *For IDD & E-IDD-15 sec pulse

24 hours 0.65 0.65 0.65 Only IDD/E-IDD Charges

Note:
• • •

All charges are excluding of 15% VAT For BTCL charges, BTCL time Band will be applicable Also applicable for Easy Load customers

Particulars Outgoing To Aktel To other Operator To BTCL (Local/NWD) To International (IDD/EIDD)* Incoming From any number worldwide Pulse Outgoing

TK./min 24 hours 0.97 0.97 0.97 Only IDD/E-IDD Charges Free 1 sec from 1st minute *For IDD & E-IDD-15 sec pulse

Note:

Postpaid tariff
Aktel Package Info Service: To know your existing tariff plan/ package/ benefits that you are enjoying, just Dial *140*14# or type P and SMS to 8822

Out going Calls

Voice Any Operator BDT 0.68/min Aktel To BTCL BDT 0.68/min Aktel To International Only IDD/E-IDD (IDD/E-IDD charges) Charges FnF: Any Operator BDT 0.68/min FnF: BTCL BDT 0.68/min Partner Number BDT 0.68/min Any Operator BDT 1/ SMS SMS International BDT 2/ SMS Connection Price BDT 499 BDT 300 Connection Fee & Credit Limit Others Line Rent BDT 100 Pulse 60 sec

Notes:
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All charges exclusive of VAT. Package price inclusive of VAT 68 paisa per call setup charge applicable for all calls under simple plan. Line Rent Waived if monthly usage exceeds TK 500 (excluding monthly subscription fee e.g. Goon Goon subscription fee, Aktel PA etc) or if customer subscribes unlimited GPRS For IDD and E-IDD-15 sec pulse from 1st Minute

Any Operator BDT 1/min Aktel To BTCL BDT 1/min Aktel To International Only IDD/E-IDD Charges Out going Voice (IDD/E-IDD charges) Calls FnF: Any Operator BDT 0.68/min FnF: BTCL BDT 0.68/min Partner Number BDT 0.25/min Any Operator BDT 1/SMS SMS International BDT 2/SMS Connection Price BDT 499 BDT 300 Connection Fee & Credit Limit Others Line Rent BDT 100 Pulse 30 sec Notes: All charges exclusive of VAT. Package price inclusive of VAT
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Tk. 1 for Any operator call, 68 paisa for FNF, 25 paisa for partner per call setup charge applicable under normal plan. Line Rent Waived if monthly usage exceeds TK 500 (excluding monthly subscription fee e.g. Goon Goon subscription fee, Aktel PA etc) or if customer subscribes unlimited GPRS For IDD and E-IDD-15 sec pulse from 1st Minute Conditions apply Sales promotional activities

Reactivate your Aktel connection:

Reactivate and enjoy 65paisa/minute 24 hrs to any mobile Offer details (Prepaid):
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All Aktel customers (Prepaid & Postpaid) who are not using their connection on or before Nov 30, 2009 60 sec pulse applicable for Local call, 15 sec pulse for International call Customers will enjoy this offer within 72 hours of reactivation This campaign will be valid till 28th February 2010. Prepaid corporate customers are not eligible for this campaign. During campaign, migration to other plans will be allowed as per regular rules, but migration to 65paisa/min [reactivation] will not be allowed. Customers will enjoy 65p till 28th Feb. ‘10, after that prepaid mass customers will be automatically migrated to Super Simple plan and prepaid PCO customers will be migrated to Super Plan. Conditions and VAT apply.

Offer details (Postpaid):

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Additional benefits: o 40% Bonus talk time on advance payment (Only General and Corporate) o FREE line rent for 4 months without any usage condition o FREE SIM Replacement 40% bonus (maximum BDT 4,000 once during campaign period) is applicable only on advance payment not on total payment and customer has to pay all previous dues ( if any) Customer will get 40% bonus on 1 day’s total advance payment (ONLY 1st days payment will be considered for bonus) Free SIM replacement is available ONLY in Aktel Customer Care Centers 65p call rate is ONLY applicable for General and PCO customers Existing active customers cannot migrate to these rate plans. However, reactivated customers can migrate to any other existing rate plan. Customers will enjoy 65p till 28th Feb. ‘10. After that customers will be automatically migrated to the lowest available rate plan

Eligibility Check for Reactivation campaign:
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From own number : *140*11# From any Aktel number : Type A Aktel number and send to 8050 Charge: 2.00/ request (15% VAT applicable)

The most affordable connection: Aktel prepaid connection is now Tk. 148 only! Conditions & others:
• • • • •

Welcome gift of Tk. 25 talk-time upon activation (applicable for any purpose) 60 days validity on activation Default tariff plan will be Simple Plan Available at Aktel Customer Care, Aktel Care Point & all the mobile outlets nationwide This offer will be valid until further notice

How to migrate:
• • •

To Normal Plan dial *8999*2# To Super Simple Plan dial *8999*3# To Extra Simple Plan dial *8999*4#

REFILL and enjoy INSTANT BONUS every time… Refill Amount (BDT) 101 Bonus Amount (BDT) 7.50 Validity Main (days) 30 30 for A/c

201 15.00 Conditions and others:
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Applicable for Prepaid customers (except Uddokta, EasyLoad and Corporate) Bonus usage purpose - Aktel-Aktel voice calls only Bonus validity - 3 days (inclusive of receiving date) Bonus will be given in TK. value and in voice call dedicated account (Dial *222*1# to check) Bonus will be given instantly for as many times as refill of TK 101, 201 (fixed) This offer is valid till further notice.

Empowering Bangladesh:

Empowering Bangladesh Unbeatable super tariff plan, 65p/min to any operator 24 hours a day, Who are eligible? All new and existing Aktel Prepaid Uddokta and EasyLoad customers Offer Details:

• • • • • • • • •

All Aktel Uddokta and EasyLoad customers will now talk at 65p/min, 24hrs to any operator. New customers will get this offer by purchasing a new connection. Existing customers need to migrate by dialing *8999*21# (Standard SMS charge applicable) Package price of Prepaid Uddokta is BDT 500. New Prepaid Uddokta customers will get TK.75 talk-time on activation. 60 sec pulse from 1st minute for new super tariff plan. Customer can get back to regular (97p/min 24hrs to any operator, 1sec pulse) tariff plan by dialing *8999*20# (Standard SMS charge applicable) Customer can get this connection from any Aktel Care Point & Aktel Customer Care center. Customer will be empowered through EasyLoad transfer business and much more in future.

Corporate social responsibility:

AKTEL is always committed to the society. In fact, 2005 & 2006 were a year of exploration into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for AKTEL. To actively identify and start establishing AKTEL as a concerned entity devoted to the development of many social interests throughout greater Bangladesh based on four core values. These are enlightened through education, Assure better health, Protect environment and Fight with poverty.

Award for csr

In recognition of its CSR effort, AKTEL is the first among all mobile phone operators to win prestigious “Standard Chartered-Financial Express Corporate Social Responsibility Award-2006”. 2008 Highlights

AKTEL stands besides cold affected people of the city

AKTEL has joined hands with Anjuman-Mufidul-Islam, a hundred year's old civic organization in distributing bedding & clothing to the underprivileged people of the city. As part of CSR initiative, Ms. Nora Junita Hussaini, Chief Financial Officer of AKTEL

distributed the bedding & clothing among slum dwellers & orphanages for both boys and girls at old Dhaka. Other senior functionaries of AKTEL were also present

AKTEL stands besides SOMA

AKTEL recently had commenced for SMS campaign in raising funds for the treatment of Ms. Soma Akter (17), who is suffering from terminal illness of thalasimia (blood cancer). Ms. Nora Junita Hussaini, Chief Financial Officer of AKTEL handed over a cheque to Soma Akter. Other senior functionaries of AKTEL were also present. Expressing her comments on AKTEL's behalf, Ms. Hussaini wished early recovery of Soma and looked forward to hear the progress of Soma's on-going medical treatment.

Aktel-Debate Championship ‘08

The 'Aktel Debate Championship ‘08' was organized by Drishty Chittagong. In the week long program, 7th inter school English debate competition and 1st Inter university English debate competition were held. Nine best English medium schools of the port city Chittagong took part in this competition including William Carey Academy, Summerfield School, Bay View School, Cider International School, Radiant School, Green Vale School, Chittagong Sunshine School, Oxbridge School and Gems English Medium School, Mr. Javed Tariq, Head of Corporate Affairs, TM international (Bangladesh) Ltd., Mr. Masud Bakul, President Dist, Chittagong and Mr.

Saif Chy. General Secretary, Drishty, Chittagong were present the prize giving ceremony. Professor Sikander Khan, President, Bangladesh Economics Society Chittagong chapter, was present as Chief Guest at the award giving ceremony. Mr. Farid Ahmed Chy. Chief Advisor of Drishty Chittagong presided over the program. Mr. Abul Momen, Resident Editor of Prothom Alo were also present.

Awards and Recognitions

Standard Chartered - Financial Express Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards 2006- for contribution in basic education, primary health, poverty alleviation and ecological impact.

Aktel has won a prestigious “Standard Chartered - Financial Express Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award 2006”. The CSR award is introduced to recognize the organizations in the corporate world that excel in CSR apart from their main line of business. Bangladesh Bank Governor Mr. Salehuddin Ahmed handed over the award jointly to Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan, former Chairman and Mr. Ahmad Bin Ismail, former Managing Director of Aktel in the presence of former Finance and Planning Adviser Dr. AB Mirza Azizul Islam and Economist & Chairman of Award trustee board, Professor Dr. Wahiduddin Mahmud.

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