Telenor clients to replace their smartphones every year with the UPRADE service


At a special event held today, Тelenor presented its newest service, UPGRADE, which allows clients to replace their smartphones with a new device of choice every year. Telenor is the first operator in Bulgaria to offer such option to its customers.

As of November 1, all new and existing Telenor residential post-paid clients who sign a 24-month contract for the Total subscription plans and purchase a 2-year lease for any
smartphone from a list of selected brands and models may also opt for the new UPGRADE service.

With additional fee of only BGN 6.99 and after payment of minimum 12 fees and leasing installments, customers may return their used device without paying the outstanding leasing installments and buy a new one smartphone of their choice. UPRADE customer may also choose to pay for their new device in cash or to purchase it on a 24-month lease. In both cases users must extend their mobile services subscription. Users may opt out of the UPGRADE service at any time with no penalties and may choose not to use it after they replace their handsets.

Presently, the UPGRADE is available with mobile subscription and device leasing contract for nearly 50 models of the major global brands and the list will be regularly updated and expanded in the future. The full list of brands and models as well as the general terms & conditions of the service and additional information will be available at the Telenor website as of November 1.

During the event the Telenor Bulgaria Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ole-Bjorn Sjulstad and the company’s Chief Strategy & Transformation Director Mrs. Galina Chuleva presented insights from a consumer habits survey by the market research company Kantar TNS Norway held among 7,200 respondents, aged 15 to 65, in Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary.

According to the survey, about 70% of the Bulgarian mobile users own smartphones and use them to access the internet, and some 39% of mobile data users in Bulgaria that participated in the survey said they used mostly the operators’ 3G and 4G networks to access the internet. Most of these users (95%) said they also used ОТТ (over-the-top) communication services, including applications for chat and voice or video calls. About 89% of the mobile users in Bulgaria prefer using the operators’ post-paid services, which is significantly higher than the total average for the four markets covered in the
survey which is 67%. Despite the relatively high smartphone penetration rate in Bulgaria and the region, only 11% of the users in Bulgaria who use mobile apps opted to download paid applications.

This finding is also supported by the fact that 96% of the Bulgarian users prefer cash payments and only 7% of them declared they had made online payments which roughly correspond to the averages for the all of the four countries in the survey. “This consumer habits survey in the Central and Eastern European countries in which Telenor Group operates, showed that the Bulgarian market does not lag behind the other markets in the region and that Bulgarian consumers are well educated and demanding and ready for new services and technologies”, Telenor Bulgaria CEO Mr. Sjulstad commented.

„The survey also showed that Bulgarian market has a big potential in the fields of digital services and mobile payments. Telenor will continue to develop its digital services and our results for Bulgaria so far show that we are moving in the right direction by offering new and empowering opportunities to Bulgarian society”, he added.

Telenor Bulgaria is a leading telecommunication company with over 3.2 million active subscribers in Bulgaria. As of end of September 2017, the company’s services are available to 99.64% of Bulgaria’s population, covering 89.80% of the country’s territory. Telenor 4G network covers 90.81% of the population. Telenor Bulgaria is part of the international Telenor Group which operates in 12 countries in Europe and Asia and has 176 million mobile subscribers.