Mobile number portability and Data mining

I am much excited about the long delayed Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in India which is now pretty much ready for arrival next month during 2nd week of November (http://goo.gl/DuUo). I am not sure if it will be free (as it is in most of the countries, http://goo.gl/2ihz), but even if it isn’t I am expecting a lot of people would switch their mobile network operator in-spite of the few disadvantages the service will bring(http://goo.gl/w5Si).

In such times, IMHO, the mobile network operators are forced to either improve their services or put lucrative offers in front of transitioning users which they are unable to resist. The former can’t be done in a day (which user won’t wait before switching) and latter brings an interesting problem from our data mining class, back in 2009.

Dr. V. Iyenger, once in our class posed an interesting problem, which was quite similar to the above. “How will a mobile company choose the customers to offer free promotional coupons, so that they are not lost?” The promotional coupons offer sounded plausible, I mean if I am offered no less than Rs. 1000 recharge, I won’t change my service provider for at least another one month.

All of us (okay, just the few frontbenchers!!) came up with a lots of different parameters with lots of different algorithms but they all could agree upon at least “the customers who made the most complaints in the past few months”. Of course, we didn’t know about MNP then otherwise we could have disappointed our professor a little less with more satisfactory answers.

Moral: So even if you are happy with your mobile operator but want free recharge, START COMPLAINING. Damn, flood those customer care executives now.

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