The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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AirTel pampers its STD callers

New Delhi, April 16: In a bid to attract the customers to make more STD and ISD calls from mobile to mobile, Bharti group’s cellular brand AirTel today reduced the airtime rates by 79 per cent on all STD calls for its subscribers on both post-paid and pre-paid to 50 paise per minute as against the existing Rs 2.40 per minute.

This will come into effect from Thursday in Calcutta and Delhi. The company said that now the low airtime rate benefit could be availed by both the post-paid as well as the pre-paid category subscribers making mobile-to-mobile, national, and international long distance calls.

AirTel has waived airtime charges on any ISD calls for both post-paid and pre-paid subscribers, which is a 100 per cent reduction in airtime on ISD calls.

The company expects to bring down the STD call rates at a latter stage in association with other mobile cellular service providers.

“It is a possibility since there is economic viability which has to be triggered by all the mobile operators in association with the long distance operators,” said sources in Bharti.

The company has opened up mobile-to-mobile STD facility for its post-paid subscribers without taking any STD deposit against the same. Given that a mobile-to-mobile STD call today is a much cheaper way to call long distance this is yet another benefit for an AirTel customer.

“We have removed the initial deposit of Rs 3,000 required by the post paid subscriber to make STD calls. This will increase the number of STD calls made by the existing subscribers. The deposit, we felt, was a deterrent for many existing users to avail STD facility on their connection,” said a senior executive.

The facility will be available to all new subscribers across the country with immediate effect and existing subscribers in a phased manner.

Manoj Kohli, president (mobility), Bharti TeleVentures, said: “We have taken a lead in introducing the most competitive tariffs on long distance calls for all AirTel subscribers. Coupled with the benefits of low airtime and a significantly lower STD component on mobile-to-mobile long distance calls, this will result in huge savings for our subscribers.”

There will not be any major financial implications since the volumes will offset the reduction in airtime rates, said sources in the company.

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