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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Reliance’s entry set to lower mobile tariffs for consumers

Manoj Gairola, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 19, 2013
First Published: 21:57 IST(19/2/2013) | Last Updated: 21:59 IST(19/2/2013)

There’s good news for consumers hit by a current round of hikes in mobile tariffs.

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With Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) all set to enter the voice market, there’s likely to be a curb on the sudden rise in mobile telephony tariffs, as subscribers will get the option to chose one more pan-India service provider.

In the last three months, effective tariffs for prepaid consumers has increased by up to 25%.

On Monday, the government allowed 4G operators to offer voice services by migrating to the new licensing regime.

“RIL’s services will be offered at a price much more competitive than what is available in the market,” said a source familiar with the developments.

In 2003, RIL had helped spark off the Indian telecom revolution by offering mobile handsets and connections at an initial cost of R501 under its Monsoon Hungama Offer.

The company may repeat its plans to offer bundled services. “The company will also tie up with vendors to offer bundled services. However, nothing is finalised,” said the source.

Increase in competition will also help in improving the quality of services.

“Quality of services will increase with competition,” said Mahesh Uppal, a Delhi-based telecom consultant.
“Operators are conscious of the fact that consumers can take their business to competitors by spending just Rs.19, the cost of mobile number portability.”

However, RIL will have to pay a migration fee of Rs.1,658 cr.

“The regulator recommended a migration fee of Rs.15 crore. By imposing a higher fee, the communications ministry has disturbed the level-playing field,” said an RIL official.


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