Airtel slashes call charges

Bharti Airtel has raised the battle pitch for the pre-paid mobile market by slashing airtime tariff to 50 paise a minute for its Delhi subscribers.The reduced tariff will be available for all mobile-to-mobile local calls. Pre-paid subscribers can avail themselves of the new scheme by buying a recharge coupon worth Rs 56 every month.

The move comes after the Tata-Virgin combine raised the bar by launching mobile schemes for the youth segment offering airtime at 50 paise a minute.

Most of the other mobile operators are charging Re One per minute on their pre-paid cards.

Mr Shashi Arora, CEO – Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mobile Services), Delhi & NCR said, “We at Airtel have always been at the forefront in introducing best in class products and services for our consumers. This latest endeavour is towards making tariffs more affordable and within the reach of all income groups. We are sure our customers would find this opportunity very cost effective.”

However, the Virgin Mobile offer seems to be still more attractive as it allows subscribers to call fixed line users also at 50 paise a minute, besides getting paid for incoming calls.

The Airtel offer is limited to mobile-to-mobile calls. The other difference is that while the Airtel offer does not give any talk time with the Rs 56 voucher, Virgin has a recharge coupon for Rs 50 with a talk time worth Rs 39.
Tata Tele claim

“Virgin Mobile branded services offer the best value for money for youth who call and text a lot. The way we do this is by rewarding them both for making outgoing and receiving incoming calls. Customers who make a lot of calls, will benefit from our 50 paise to any local network offer. Many third party experts agree that we offer great value for money.

For example, in a report released by Morgan Stanley earlier this month, they found that customers who made 140 minutes of outgoing calls could save up to 25-30 per cent if they used Virgin Mobile,” said a Tata Teleservices spokesperson.

More than 70 per cent of the 200 million mobile subscribers use pre-paid cards and they tend to change operators.

Lifetime validity cards were launched just over a year ago by all the mobile operators in a bid to arrest the high churn rate, which is around 4 per cent

However, with new operators set to enter the fray more tariff cuts can be expected in the coming months.


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