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Selective slash in cell-to-cell STD tariff

A selective reduction in cell-to-cell STD rates was announced on Friday. The new tariffs, applicable only to city Hutch subscribers, will come into effect from January 25.

Pre-paid and post-paid Hutch subscribers will pay Rs 2.99 per minute for calls beyond 50 km. Within 50 km, the rate stays at Rs 1.20 a minute. An airtime charge of Re 1 will also be charged per minute. The new rates are applicable only to calls made to Hutch and Idea subscribers in Delhi, Orange in Mumbai, BPL Mobile and Escotel in Kerala and Hutch and Idea in Gujarat.

All calls to other GSM networks will be charged at existing rates of Rs 9 beyond 500 km, Rs 4 between 201 and 500 km, and Rs 2.40 between 51 and 200 km.

Chief executive officer, Bharti Mobitel, Deepak Gulati, said, on Friday that Airtel, too, would announce cuts in STD rates. “The rates will apply to all Airtel subscribers nationally and to calls made to any GSM network across the country.”

The Cellular Operators Association of India announced a slash in cell-to-cell STD rates earlier this month, but Calcutta was left out due to “infrastructure problems”. Bharti is expected to roll out its IndiaOne basic telephony service next week. Hutch will include other GSM circles once the network is functional.

Sunil Sood, chief operating officer, Hutchison Telecom East Limited, assured subscribers that further tariff reductions will be announced in the coming weeks, along with a “gamut of value-added services”.

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