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Flood of Offers: Operators woo customers with innovative plans

August 26, 2011
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In May 2011, TATA DOCOMO launched the Roam Free offer for post-paid customers. The offer made incoming calls on national roaming free while outgoing calls on roaming were charged at Re 0.01 per second. The initiative, senior company officials say, was aimed at attracting more subscribers.

As expected, other operators quickly got into the act. Operators like Bharti airtel, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Reliance Communications (RCOM) introduced innovative talk and data plans of their own.

tele.net takes a look at various tariff plans being offered by operators…

Bharti airtel

Bharti airtel has introduced a recharge option for customers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Under the Super Ten Paper Coupon recharge plan, a user can choose from multiple recharge options for Rs 10. Tamil Nadu customers can choose from five plans. These offer Rs 9.06 worth of talktime with one-day validity, or 30 minutes of free airtel-to-airtel calls with one-day validity, airtel-to-airtel calls priced at Re 0.01 per minute with two-day validity, 100 SMSs free per day with two-day validity, or 100 MB of GPRS for internet with two-day validity. Similarly, under the Super Ten plan, airtel’s prepaid customers in Kerala can choose from six options priced at Rs 10. These are Rs 10 talktime with one-day validity, 25 free minutes for local and STD calls with one-day validity, airtel-to-airtel calls priced at Re 0.10 per minute with three-day validity, 75 seconds of calling to the Gulf countries with two-day validity, or 100 free SMSs per day with three-day validity, or 100 MB GPRS for internet with two-day validity.

Vodafone Essar

Vodafone Essar has announced the launch of the data bonus card 21. The card offers unlimited mobile internet browsing to prepaid customers for three days. The operator has also introduced the Chillarai recharge facility for prepaid customers in Tamil Nadu. These recharge coupons are available in denominations of Re 1 and Rs 2, which can be given to customers instead of change. The Re 1 Chillarai recharge provides 10 local calling minutes and is valid for a day, while the Rs 2 Chillarai recharge offers 20 local calling minutes between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and is valid for a day.

Vodafone Essar has also introduced the bonus card 39 for prepaid customers in Jammu & Kashmir. This card enables customers to make local Vodafone-to-Vodafone calls at Re 0.10 per 6 seconds. For all other local and STD calls, customers are charged at Re 0.10 per second. The card is priced at Rs 39 and has a validity of 30 days from the date of activation. Vodafone customers can avail of this offer through the e-recharge facility.

RCOM

RCOM has launched a tariff plan with special roaming rates for subscribers in Tamil Nadu. Under this, incoming and outgoing calls to any network are priced at Re 0.01 per second. The offer is available on a Rs 82 recharge voucher and the tariff is valid for 365 days.

BSNL

BSNL has launched a scheme for new broadband customers wherein they can access the operator’s entertainment portal free, as well as avail of content worth up to Rs 149. Users can also get a one-month free subscription for the games-on-demand facility for up to Rs 199. BSNL has several other free offerings as well for its new broadband customers. These include free installation worth Rs 250, free usage for the first 15 days and staggered security deposit payment in three instalments.

BSNL has reduced tariffs for several of its broadband plans and introduced new plans. For example, download charges in the BBG 250, BBG Combo 299, BBG FN Combo 600 and BBG 700 tariff plans have been reduced to Re 0.20 per MB up to 5 GB and Re 0.10 per MB thereafter. Earlier, these charges were in the range of Re 0.50-Re 0.60 per MB. Additional download charges for all the limited broadband tariff plans with a monthly rental of more than Rs 999 have now been reduced to Re 0.10 per MB. The operator has also launched the BBG COMBO ULD 850 plan that provides unlimited downloads to business customers at 1 Mbps speed (up to 8 GB) and 256 kbps thereafter. The Home Combo ULD 1000, 1350 and 1700 broadband plans, which were restricted to home users, have been made available to all subscribers. Moreover, the free download limit has been increased for various tariff plans, including the Speed Combo 2799 (from 50 GB to 60 GB), the Super Speed Combo 4999 (from 110 GB to 125 GB), the Super Speed Combo 9999 (from 220 GB to 250 GB), the Rural Combo 999 (from 12 GB to 20 GB) and the CSC 1000 (from 8 GB to 10 GB). The free-call limit has been increased from 250 to 500 for the Combo 1111 plan, from 300 to 500 for the Speed Combo 2799 and from 500 to 1,000 for the Super Speed Combo 4999 plan. In addition, the free call facility has been introduced for the Combo ULD 3300 plan (500 free calls), the Combo ULD 6000 plan (1,000 free calls), the combo ULD 9000 plan (1,500 free calls) and the Combo ULD 15000 plan (2,000 free calls).

TTSL

TATA DOCOMO has introduced the MyFamily plan for post-paid customers. Users can choose from three variants of the offer, all of which entail free airtime that can be used to make local and STD calls, send free local and national SMSs, data usage and a closed user group free local calling. The three plans are the Small Family @ 999, Medium Family @ 1999 and Large Family @ 2999. Customers can opt for up to three connections under the Small Family plan, and up to five connections under the Medium and Large Family offers. Under the Small Family Plan 999, post-paid customers can avail of 3,000 free minutes of local and STD calls, 1,000 free closed user group minutes to make local calls, 500 free local or national SMSs and 512 MB of free data. Under the Medium Family 1999 plan, customers get 6,000 free minutes for local and national calls, 1,500 free local closed user group minutes, 1,000 free local or national SMSs and 1 GB of free data. Under the Large Family 2999 plan, customers can avail of 10,000 free minutes for local and national calls, 2,000 free local closed user group minutes, 1,500 free local or national SMSs and 2 GB of free data. After the free airtime in the MyFamily plans lapses, customers are charged at Re 0.01 per second for all local and national calls.

The company has also introduced the ULTA SMS pack for prepaid customers. The pack allows users to send text messages across the country for Re 0.50 per message. All local text messages are priced at Re 0.10 per message. Users can send up to a hundred text messages per day. Thereafter, all local text messages are charged at Re 1 per message and national text messages at Rs 1.50 per message. While on roaming, each message is charged Rs 3, while international messages cost Rs 5. To activate the pack, prepaid customers have to send SMSULTA as a text message to 12524. Subscription charges are Rs 11 for 30 days. The pack is activated and benefits credited to the customer within 48 hours.

Idea Cellular

Idea Cellular has launched special power vouchers offering discounted ISD rates for Bangladeshi nationals travelling to Kolkata. The power voucher 12 allows subscribers to make outgoing calls to Bangladesh at Rs 1.99 per minute. It is priced at Rs 12 and comes with one-week validity. Another power voucher priced at Rs 36 offers an ISD call rate of Rs 1.99 per minute and comes with a validity of 30 days. These offers are also available for Idea subscribers based in Kolkata and the rest of West Bengal who make frequent calls to Bangladesh.

Uninor

Uninor’s latest plan for its Karnataka customers entails call rates of Re 0.02 per minute within the local Uninor network.

The company has also launched the talktime transfer facility for its Karnataka customers. This offering makes it possible for Uninor prepaid subscribers to borrow or transfer talktime from family and friends. Subscribers can transfer balance amounts ranging from a minimum of Rs 5 and a maximum of Rs 50 at one go; on any given day a maximum of seven such transactions are allowed. This offer is, as of now, available in the Uninor Karnataka circle only. To request for transfer of balance, users need to dial 201, followed by the 10-digit mobile number and the amount. To initiate the transfer, users have to dial 202 followed by the 10-digit mobile number and the amount to be transferred. A transaction fee of Rs 2 is deducted from the amount transferred.

Another offering from Uninor’s stable is Sweet Treats, directed at the company’s existing and prospective customers in Andhra Pradesh. Users can choose from among five Sweet Treats plans that offer 50 free local minutes (by recharging with a voucher worth Rs 100), or 40 free STD minutes (by recharging with a Rs 198 voucher), or 100 free local SMSs (by purchasing a Rs 41 recharge voucher), or 20 free STD minutes (by purchasing a Rs 111 voucher) or 50 free local minutes (by recharging with a Rs 49 voucher). To avail of the offer, customers need to send an SMS to 53030. On enrolling, customers get a Sweet Treats booklet, which gives them a variety of recharge options to choose from. The recharge coupons can be endorsed at any Uninor branded store and is credited within 48-72 hours of enrolment. Depending on the recharge offer chosen, a customer can use the respective Sweet Treats within a validity of 7 or 15 days.

SSTL

Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited (SSTL) has introduced an offer for new customers, whereby they can avail of its mobile broadband service, MBlaze, for Rs 1,999, along with 5 GB of free data usage for the first month. Also, customers can avail of 50 per cent extra data usage by recharging through special tariff vouchers (STVs) priced between Rs 496 and Rs 899. For example, on an STV priced at Rs 496, users can avail of 1 GB of free data usage. On the Rs 597 voucher, 1.5 GB of free data is available, while on the Rs 702 voucher, 3 GB of free data is available. Similarly, users can avail of 4.5 GB of free data on the Rs 796 STV and 9 GB of free data on the Rs 899 STV.

SSTL has also launched a lifetime tariff offer for new and existing customers. Users can now avail of a Re 0.005 per second tariff for all local and national outgoing calls made to any telecom network in the country. Existing MTS mobile customers can avail of this offer for Rs 191, while new MTS mobile customers need to pay Rs 203. Both existing and new customers will also get talktime worth Rs 50.

S Tel

S Tel has launched the Happy Hours plan for users in Himachal Pradesh. The offer entails full talktime between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on recharge denominations of Rs 30 onwards, with no restriction on validity.

Loop Mobile

Loop Mobile has launched the Bol Mumbai Bol offer for prepaid users. Under this, users can avail of a recharge voucher priced at Rs 86 that entails free calling minutes within the Loop Mobile network. Local calls to other networks are charged at Re 0.30 per minute and national calls are priced at Re 0.50 per minute.

Given the breakneck competition in the field, telecom operators are racing to outdo each other and will continue to flood the market with a host of new services and products.

 
 
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