Reliance claims credit for tariff war; says its GSM offer leads the race

Over more than two years back, state-owned BSNL triggered a vicious trend viz. tariff war after it introduced a plan that reduced local and STD call rates to Re.1 per minute at a monthly rental of Rs 299 for fixed lines and WLL phones at Rs 250 in urban centers, and Rs 50-180 in rural areas.
As expected, the attractive ‘One India plan’ gained immediate popularity, garnering it wide acceptance, reception and replication in the telecom circle. This new service was seen followed by a round of new rate cuts by other telecom operators who were waiting in the wings to grab a share of the market pie. Others like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Tata Teleservices and Reliance too joined onboard taking call rates to a new low.
Again, this time around with BSNL announcing the new ‘India Golden Fifty’ mobile service that trims STD calls across India to 50 paise per minute across all networks, is history set to repeat itself
However, Reliance Communications considers this plan as no prodigious or BSNL as a trailblazer. Claiming to be the groundbreaker, the Reliance Communications spokesperson said to TelecomTiger that it has already rolled out glossy GSM offerings which are affordable and will suit a broad spectrum of subscribers.
According to the new plan subscribers would be able to make local calls at 50 paise per minute (Re 1 earlier) and STD calls at 75 paise per minute (Rs 1.50 earlier). The popularity of the company’s plans for the moment appear to be true since RCom was able to notch up 5 million subscribers within a month of its GSM services launch.
In yet another plan, the existing GSM customers of Reliance Mobile can get lifetime validity and double talk-time benefit, on every recharge, by loading a special tariff voucher of Rs 26. The additional talk-time can be used to make local calls and send SMS to any network.
The company is offering GSM mobile connections under a customer experience programme (CEP) and has positioned its GSM services on the basis of quality as the differentiator when compared to competitors.
It remains to be seen if the company is able to sustain the current tariff plan or is forced to respond to BSNL’s new scheme in the days to come. One thing is for sure that subscribers in the country will have the last laugh on the tariff front.