Setting the tone for 3G mobile services, Tata Teleservices which has DoCoMo of Japan as its partner, today announced the call tariff at just 0.66 paise per second.
The company announced different tariff plans for both post-paid and pre-paid 3G mobile services ranging from Rs 350 to Rs 2,000, which include monthly minutes as well as data usage.
For example, in a monthly tariff package of Rs 2,000 the subscriber would get 5,000 minutes voice calls, along with data usage of up to 2GB per month. Tata, however, clarified that pulse rate would be 'per second' and subscribers would be charged only for number of seconds used. The Company launched its 3G services this Diwali in nine Circles - Karnataka, Kerala, Rest of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya-Pradesh-Chhattisgarh and UP (West).
Other private operators like Bharti and Vodafone are also likely to start 3G services in the next few months.
But the benchmark set by Tata DoCoMo would once again put pressure on all the operators to follow 'per second' pulse. Immediately after the auction of 3G spectrum was held, the leading operators had said that 3G mobile services would not come cheap as the bids for spectrum (radio waves) were too high.
Similarly, for 3G data services on large screens like computers and laptops, Tatas have announced a package of Rs 2,000 for 15 GB of data usage at a speed of 21.1 Mbps. However, usage beyond 15 GB would be free but at a speed of 256 kbps. With nearly 80 million subscribers, both in mobile and landline segments, the company is pinning hopes of generating revenues on 3G mobile as well as data services, in the designated circles. "In the Tata DOCOMO tradition of keeping things simple for the consumer, the plans are honest, simple, transparent and easy to understand. Our very approach to 3G pricing has been to take the 'worry' out of telecom," Deepak Gulati, Executive President, Mobility, TTSL, said. He added, "Our dual-tone pricing strategy - Small Screen (mobile phones) Plans and Large Screen (computers and laptops) Plans - provide tremendous flexibility and value to our customers, enabling them to choose options best suited to their usage patterns and share of pocket, thereby stamping out any worry or concerns over heavy usage and high bills."
Gulati said the tariffs are designed to offer "total freedom to customers-to stop them worrying about bills, freeing them to explore the world-best 3G Life offered by Tata DOCOMO".