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 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.