Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tatas heat up the telecom sector

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The heat is on in the Indian telecom market. It has been just about two months that Tata DoCoMo had taken the GSM mobile market by storm with its paise per second tariff plan. Tata Tele Services seems to be in no mood to lower its guard and has created a bang in the CDMA market too. Tata Indicom might have just delivered a death blow to its biggest competitor Reliance CDMA by announcing its new pay per call concept.

The offer is such that its sounds too good to believe. Under this offer Tata Indicom callers will be charged Re.1 for all local calls and Rs.3 for long distance calls, regardless of the duration of the call irrespective of the network they call into. The pay-per-call product has been launched on the prepaid platform, and subscribers opting for it will be charged a daily fee of Re.1. The company also plans to roll out similar offer on its postpaid service.

In two months, the firm has already signed up six million subscribers on the GSM network which has rolled out in eight operating areas including the four southern states, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. With plans to launch DoCoMo in all the 23 circles in the next one year and revamping its existing CDMA subscriber base India's most prestigious business house is turning the heat on in the Telecom market.

The Tata DoCoMo impact has been so much so that it caught most of its competitors off guard and has forced them to revise their price strategy. Never before were SIM Cards hoarded in the market as has been the case with Tata DoCoMo with retailers unable to meet the market demands. Aircel is trying to lure its customers with a cheap STD calls going into the third minute. Airtel and Vodafone are giving attractive packages to their customers within their network.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the cellular market in India once the Number Portability comes into effect. It is believed a lobby is trying its best to stop this from empowering the consumers to choose their operators at the same time retaining their numbers. Tata Tele Services is most likely to be the biggest beneficiary if this comes into quick effect. Well consumers surely have a lot to cheer about in this telecom war.


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