| Wake-up call
New Delhi, Dec. 31: Cellular operators have started responding to the threat posed by Reliance Infocomm’s IndiaMobile limited mobility service by announcing their decision to slash tariffs.
The Chennai-based cellular operator, SkyCell, has already submitted a tariff package to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India that aims to offer free incoming calls. It also proposes to offer a three-year package for Rs 9,000 with unlimited incoming calls. This offer is to be given to the post-paid subscriber while another package aims to offer the service to pre-paid subscribers.
“This is a sales promotion offer and valid for all those who buy an Idea prepaid (ChitChat) card between December 26-31. The scheme entails free incoming calls not just Idea-to-Idea but all other operators too. It will be valid between January 2 to January 31,” a company spokesperson said.
Official sources said: “We can match the tariff package of the limited mobility service providers. It will be announced by mid-January, which will be further reduced in the next quarter. However, no decision has been taken as yet about the quantum of cut to be effected from January.”
AirTel has already announced that it will reduce the tariff which will be fully effective in April.
The battle of tariffs is likely to hot up. Besides cellular operators, other limited mobility service providers like Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, Tata Teleservices, Shyam Telecom, Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd are also reviewing their tariff structures.
“We do not have any other alternative but to bring down the tariffs if we are to survive in the market,” said T.V Ramachandran, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
“All the cellular operators are evaluating their market and business. Soon we will witness tariff reduction by all the operators. However, it may happen in a gradual manner,” he added.