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New Telecom player in India – Uninor, tariff review

Even before proceeding into details, one has to ask whether there is still any vacuum left in the Indian telecom industry?

It took Tata Docomo, the latest entrant in the GSM market, the task of reducing the call prices to as low as 1 paisa/sec, which was never heard of before. And today, that rate has become a standard in the Industry and any new entrant, to be successful, has to beat that, or at least follow that (for which Tata Docomo would be very proud of).

The new entrant in the fray is Uninor, the JV between India’s Unitech group and Norway’s Telenor.

It rolled out its plans in 8 circles in India which includes all the four South Indian states AP, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu and UP (east and west), Bihar (and Jharkhand), Orissa (Uninor has received licenses for 21 of 22 circles across India and rolling out its services in rest of the circles should just be a matter of time).

Unlike the existing telecom players who are set for the 3G bidding processes, Uninor says that it’ll first think about rolling out its 2G services sans India, adding that it’ll will not bid for 3G spectrum.

Uninor-india-tariff Uninor is looking for a market share of 8% in India by 2018.

Coming to the tariff itself, you may have seen few ads that hit the TV screen and the web telling  ‘It’s my number now’.

If I can call it an obvious plan now, the per second plan in Uninor can be availed at a daily rental of 50 ps (Makes sense? I don’t think so)

And that too, the 1ps per second applies only for local calls, STD calls on the other hand costs 2ps/sec (both local and STD rates applies to calls made within, outside Uninor network and also to Fixed lines).

If you can play a daily rental of Rs.1, you get local calls at 1ps/2sec and STD calls at 1ps/sec.

The SMS packs, which was also beautifully toned by Tata Docomo, lacks punch in Uninor’s case. For a daily rental of Rs.1, local SMS’s cost 30 paisa, National SMS 50 paisa and International SMS cost Rs.5.

A special plan called ‘I save-Unlimited (daily)’ which has a daily rental of Rs.7 gives you unlimited minutes for calls made with in Uninor network and 5 minutes/day for calls made to other networks (this too lacks punch considering Uninor is fresh and will not have many (or any) Uninor customers to call to).

Another plan ‘I save-step down’ follows Aircels’ plan that reduces the call rate as you proceed into the call. For all locals, no matter which network, for a daily rental of Rs.1, the first minute costs Rs.1, second minute costs 60 ps and third minute costs 40 ps.

For STD calls, the rate is as follows Rs.1.5 – Rs.1 – 75ps.

Apart from these plans there are specials plans for early morning, Afternoon and Night times, but all those require a daily rental of either 50ps.

The Sim card costs Rs.49 with lifetime validity and gives you a talktime of Rs.5.

The default rates, without any value packs are as follows, Local charges cost Rs.1/min, STD calls cost Rs.1.50/min, SMS  local Rs.1/sms, national Rs.2/sms, International Rs.5/sms.

So looking at the plans, I feel there is no ‘New thing’ that Tata Docomo was very successful in introducing and the daily rental funda is soo old that I’ll not bother to look at them unless those rates are made default.

*All the rates mentioned above are for Andhra Pradesh circle.

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  1. uninor is the best company



  3. uninor is total bakwash,network is next to nill………..

  4. uninor’s new unlimited plan is superb for the students… good move , i must say, because there were no sms plans…

    • Which network doesn’t have a SMS plan?
      Why do all these comments ‘ Uninor is brilliant, ‘Uninor is fantastic’ etc come from the same IP?
      Really, not many are talking about Uninor except you people over at Uninor.

      • Dear Sriraj,

        Don’t mind buddy but I feel you have a very high amount of dislike against Uninor , the reason I fail to understand. For a new operator entering the telecom market you can’t expect a network as good as vodafone or airtel who are there in the market for almost 10 years.
        Take for example Docomo with whom you seem to be very much impressed (again dnt know the reason behind it) still don’t have the best of netowrks in the country and specially in kolkata its not at all upto the mark. You can also take the example of Aircel when they launched their services for the first time.
        As per the tarrif plans are concerned, tell me one thing buddy how many calls do you make whose duration is less then 1 minute. Definitely I don’t, and when you talk for a minute the so called impressive 1p/sec call plans of yours costs 1 rupee per minute. Is that wht you call cheap?? Use your brains buddy, Docomo is smart enough to extract more from you with all these tricky plans.
        Well people will start talking more of Uninor if they start a plan with unlimited call and all, does’nt matter whether you are able to talk using that plan or not. I have personally experienced such a plan from Aircel and trust me it was really horrible.

        So it’s upto you what choose cheap or quality service.

        • It’s not like I hate or dislike Uninor but I don’t see it succeeding.
          It’s important for a company, especially in the telecom sector and that too new entrants to always to be in the ears of customers. Why does Airtel, Vodafone or for that matter Tata Docomo always sound loud on TV’s?
          When it comes to Uninor, it seems to advertise its products only when there is a new thing to announce, like the recent Badalta plan, which is just not enough. May be it’s cramped for money, I don’t know.
          Coming to Tata Docomo, yes I used to love it, and I still have respect for that because it ‘revolutionized’ the Industry, that every one just had to follow their steps (What good it has done to the Industry by introducing low call rate plans is debatable).
          Ever Since Airtel introduced that 1p/s plan, I no longer needed that ‘extra’ Docomo SIM. Now I only have one Airtel Sim card.
          Arnab, you’ll see in the times to come, the consolidation coming in the Industry, when all the Small players will be wiped off (M&A’s), all these ‘crowd pulling’ tariff plans being slowly taken away. And I feel Uninor is one such potential candidate for acquisition. The failure to participate in 3G or BWA auctions doesn’t help the cause too.

          • Dear Siraj,

            May be you are missing some information. TATA Docomo did’nt revolutionized the telecom industry, it was declared by TRAI a governing body monitoring the GSM services in India, that every operator has to go for a per sec plan or else their licence will get cancelled. Only thing is that Docomo launched their services at the right time with this new concept. Moreover none of the operators in India has the power to launch such innovations without approval from TRAI. So it was just matter of time, and even if Docomo had not launched this plan other operators would have done that.

            Regarding TV Ads, every company has its own marketing policies and nothing related to shortage of money, moreover Telenor is the 6th largest operator in the world so don’t think money will be a big issue for them.

            Regarding participation in 3G bidding, well how many new operators got license for 3G?? the old ones are always preffered. So what is the point in participating when you know very well you are not going to get it.

            I agree with you that in near future there will be hardly 3-4 operators that will exist in India and the rest will be either acquired or merged, but for a operator who has set a goal of occupying just 8% of the market in the next 10 years there must be some huge financial backup to even think about such low target.
            So I am eagerly waiting to find out whether this company stays in the market or gets acquired.

            • AFAICR, the TRAI recommendation followed after the established networks complained against Tata Docomo. And I can confidently say that this per sec billing wouldn’t have been introduced into the system had Tata Docomo didn’t implement it. Why would any one want to lower their revenues if every thing is going fair and well?
              Regarding TV Ads, just think about this. A normal person (call him ‘aam aadmi’) wants to buy a Sim card, what would be the first name that he could recall? BSNL, Airtel, Vodafone, Tata…..I’m sure he would have never heard about Uninor. Leave him, even I, who constantly monitors things in Digital media forget sometimes that there is one Network called ‘Uninor’ until I saw one very rare Blue colored Bill Board while travelling in the city or once in a month News paper Ads.
              Regarding 3G, if ‘I’ were the head of Uninor and think in that way, I would have never been in this business in the first place. I would always aim to be in the forefront of technology especially since I’m a new entrant and the old boys have eaten most part of the ‘voice market’ available.
              Why do Airtel and Vodafone always fight to introduce the latest iPhone (not just the iPhone 4 but all the previous versions too) to India before than any one?
              Hope that answers your questions.

              • Comeon buddy TRAI is a governing body and does not depend on other operators complains. Moreover the reason other operators complained was because of the reason Docomo started a new price war ( although I dnt think this plan to be economical than others). Moreover gone are those days when a ordinary man used to talk for a few seconds in order to reduce his phone bill. Today people hang up atleast more than a minute or two, so is this plan very economical??? 1re/min. Also please dnt think that operators have slashed the call rates by a huge margin by introducing this plan, on the contrary they are earning more.

                Regarding TV ads, yes they are necessary and now a days I find quite a few ads of Uninor in TV specially on STAR channels. In kolkata I have seen quite a few road side advertisements atleast more than Docomo.

                Many new operators like, LOOP, DATACOM(VIDEOCON), ETISALAT etc did applied for the 3G spectrum because their Head thought just like you, but did any one got the license?? I dnt think so. It was very clear from the very begining that DOT will allot spectrum only to the existing players and there was almost no chance for any new comer to get it.
                Moreover can you guess the future of 3G?? I have seen BSNL 3G in kolkata and I can bet that no common man can afford the cost. So why go for something which is not for the common people and whose future is so uncertain.
                Lastly coming to your iphone point, dude the rest of the world is using 4G for quite sometime now so why dnt Airtel and Vodafone push for 4G or something higher rather than fighting for 3G. It’s not always staying in the forefront that matters, it’s the profit that you will make staying in the forefront that counts.

                • Tata Docomo was launched in India around May/June of 2009. Here is an article http://bit.ly/3haUpi regarding TRAI’s recommendation on per second billing. Note the date of that article where TRAI is still ‘thinking’ of making it mandatory. So this was well after Tata Docomo was launched and making waves in the industry. The complaint of other operators, although not on record was that the cheap calling rates of Docomo are causing jams (if at all) in their Network. That article also sheds some light on the revenue effects of operators due to this price war. There are very little chances that Airtel or any other network make ‘more revenues’ by introducing per second billing. They just did so, to retain their customers.
                  More proof, what was the stock price of Airtel, say in 2009 around this time and what is it now?

                  Regarding 3G Spectrum allotment, it isn’t a family thing, to distribute it to whom ever the father likes, especially since this is happening in an open environment unlike 2G Spectrum allotment. There is no reason why Uninor couldn’t win a license if it participated and been competitive. S Tel would have never won 3G licenses in HP, Bihar and Orissa if it was something like what you said.
                  Did you hear about Infotel any time before the Auctions? I’ll be frank, I didn’t. It was completely a new entrant (or at least came into limelight recently) and yet was the only one to win PAN India BWA license.

                  I’m just waiting like hell for Airtel to launch their 3G service in Hyderabad, probably around October/November this year. The only reason BSNL’s 3G tariff are such high is because it didn’t have any competition. Once these private players enter the arena, you’ll automatically see rates coming down, that’s how any system works.
                  3G or in fact BWA may not see instant success, but its a no brainer that ‘Data market’ is the next big thing that can happen to India.

                  I’m not aware of any country using a ‘complete 4G network’. May be they are using ‘LTE’ which is sometimes dubbed as 4G, which itself is still in beta and will take another 1 or 2 years to fully develop.

              • Very fine to see all

  5. the free unlimited internet by uninor is a nice offer…. i dont know how the two plans for gprs are going to come through…

    • Nice? I thought it was horrible not being aggressive enough for a new player and the default price of 10ps/10kb is just as uncompetitive as the Unlimited GPRS plan. The largest network Airtel itself has a default price of 30ps/50kb.

  6. uninor adds 5 new hubs… and also, they are offering prizes on new sim … nice prizes i must say…

  7. i think uninor has one of the best plans in the market…. waiting for some nice sms plans too…

  8. brijesh kumar singh

    it is nice .
    there are many traffic plan..that is very chep.
    uninor is best…

  9. uninor just go away bcoz u cant survive in this competition market with such types of rates and plans

  10. hi,

    I’m looking to switch from bsnl to another provider due to network issues.
    How good is uninor in kerala?

  11. I’m from Bangladesh where uninor is known as Grameenphone. Here also the call charge is comperatively higher than other operators. Nevertheless, it is the no. 1 operator in BD having 20 million + subscriber base. The reason is it’s awesome network & customer service. I believe in India also it will grab the stake on time, just wait and see…. operatos like Orascom, Singtel, dokomo (though sharing a small part of Aktel) can’t beat Grameenphone even though offering 50% reduced tarrif to cell users of BD. These Concern knows very well how to sustain and earn money !!

  12. uninor has pathetic network and service.. i regret ever buying the sim

    • seems like ur the first person i have heard complaining bout the uninor network..i have been using for sometime and so have a couple of people i know and none of us face a problem till date..maybe you need to contact the customer care of uninor to figure out the reason ‘http://www.uninor.in/pages/ContactUs.aspx’, hope this helps

      • It would be great news if you were a ‘real person’ using Uninor services. I’ve been getting too many comments praising Uninor services, from the same IP Range 🙂
        At least, try commenting from a Different IP guys.

    • Uninor has pathetic service. I too regret buying the sim

    • it’s u r wish if u want to buy …buy if u want dont but uninor is uninor when i was purchased this sim i dont have any problem if others have its not an issue but company will sustain its true thanks to uninor….

  13. ur plan is not bad but plz ruduce yr tarrif plan.bcz so many compitater in odisa market.

  14. Uninor is very bad in price wise, Call Setup Charge is really cheating people. They are charging 68p/min. So don’t go for Uninor mobile…

  15. ur plan for other states are all crap….but donot do that mistakes in orissa okay
    as 2 other GSM operator Stel and Loop mobiles launching there service early next year…..

  16. tell me when u are launching in orissa……..okay
    I am waiting eagrly..

  17. put all local calls @29p and std @49p without any conditions if u want to succed in orissa market because competition is tough here because of so many gsm opertor are there likes TATA Docomo idea vodafone all are giving full talktime and tariff are all local call @30p and std @50p

  18. Yaaseen @ suryateja.tv

    Uninor is a recently borned child.
    Badaa aadhmi hone ke liye aur thoda time lagega.
    anyway All d best for Success…. Uni nor

  19. Pramod Kumar Yadav

    If comper with STD calls of other network uninor is not so good.So I depend on other network for Std Calls.

  20. give any mobile 0.30 np tariff, this tariff will give success

  21. In my opinion uninor does not success in today market, first its plan is costly so new users want to buy it, on the other hand in my view their in two segmentsof customer in the market, first one who want to retain the same no. at any cost, at this segment uninor is failed any how, however ARPU is very high in this segment, on the other hand the segment who is looking only tariff, in this segment UNINOR plan also not worked, apart from its when new SMS charges start from 1 paise the SMS charge 30paise is absurd, in my opinion it is better for telenor to packup their ventures, & return to Norway, because it is totally diffrent market in compare of Bangladesh, where it is already operated, ……

    • Excellent. But I’m not sure if people from Uninor will like that last statement ‘Packup their ventures & return to Norway……’ 🙂

      • we need to understand what is the time of our average call. If we compare uninor with competitors I believe uninor is cheaper. Lets take a example you making a call for one minute and 40 seconds. Uninor will charge you 97P (39p +29p +29p) and others will charge you Rs1.

        The more we talk the cheaper it gets with Uninor.

        And why talk less.


        • That’s the point. Just to make the call rates cheaper, we should talk more? Doesn’t make much sense to me. There are several occasions, when we just say ‘Hello, Busy kya, ok will call you later’, don’t you? Who looks best in those cases? (I know there is also a pay per second plan in Uninor) At the end of the day, it all depends on how much YOU talk.

  22. Bakwaas Hai 1Dum TataDocomo is da best.,..

  23. i think service is most important, tariff is also good or so-so.

  24. Can’t compete in the market with this tariff rates, better don’t launch it.
    To survive in present scenario it should beat TATA DOCOMO.

  25. seems like a stupid plan,,,…

  26. Bakwaas plans. Airtel is still the best and next is tata docomo

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