BPL Mobile has been renamed Loop Mobile, and it doesn’t surprise us one bit. The telecom operator will sport a new logo, and has rejigged their website, there is more to it than just the perception of being perceived as a brand still in the last century.
Two things, in our opinion, are driving this change:
1. Mobile Number Portability: BPL is believed to be the company that will be affected most by mobile number portability – it is believed that the company got several high end customers in Mumbai when telecom licenses were first rolled out, who haven’t been able to switch from the operator because of the large number of people who have their number. With MNP expected later in the year, BPL needs to up their game – improve breadth and quality of services and infrastructure, and change mindsets. Otherwise, they’re likely to be subject to a mass exodus, probably to Vodafone.
2. Loop Telecom and the need for a unified brand: Loop Telecom, a subsidiary of BPL Mobile has the license to roll out services in 21 circles in India – and rebranding for BPL appears to be in live with making Loop the national brand for the company. BPL had raised $80 million from a Mauritius based company called Gypsy Rover, which picked up a 17% stake in the telecom operator.
Do note that there is a long standing issue between Vodafone and the Essar group over BPL and Loop Telecom – Essar and Vodafone are partners in Vodafone-Essar, and Essar also has a direct 9.9 percent stake in BPL, and controlling interest, allegedly, through related parties.