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Mobile phones come alive to V-Day's magic

With the mobile phone revolution in the country, lovers are using the hi-tech mode to express their love and the telecom companies are reaping the profits.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 14, 2008 12:41 PM IST

Valentine's Day, the day of lovers, is no longer confined to just roses, chocolates and cards.

With the mobile phone revolution in the country, lovers are using the hi-tech mode to express their love and the telecom companies are reaping the profits.

The telecom war has taken on a whole new aspect, with the players coming out with attractive Value-Added Services (VAS) like e-dating, e-greetings, e-roses, quiz contests, love calculators etc.

"Mobiles today have become the primary means of communication, especially among the youths. On days like Diwali, Holi, New Year and also Valentine's, we see a big spurt in usage of SMS to send wishes, greetings, pictures and other special content services," said Krishna Durbha Head, Sales and Marketing, Applications, Solutions and Content group, Reliance Communications, which has a customer base of over 35 million.

"In India, it's even more special given the popularity of Bollywood and regional songs etc. Which people set as their Ringtones, Caller Tunes and gift each other. VAS usage therefore sees a significant growth during such periods," added Durbha.

The largest private telecom company in the country, Bharti Airtel, with a customer base of over 40 million, tied up with multiplex giant PVR Ltd for the 'Airtel St. Valentine's Carnival', where an array of movies, including 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' and 'Love, Actually', will be shown.

Apart from this, the telecom major offered its wide range of dedicated VAS services for the day of love.

Idea Cellular also offered a range of VAS offers, including virtual dating, FLAMES, love calculator and quotes.

"Idea always aims to add excitement to the lives of its subscribers. The introduction of love-based themes and content is an additional initiative in this regard. We hope these services have enabled our subscribers to create everlasting memories with their loved ones on this special day," said Pradeep Srivastava, Chief Marketing Officer, and IDEA Cellular.

Tata teleservices did not lag behind and entered the fray with a 'Valentine's Day dream application' and quiz contests.

"At Tata Teleservices, it is our constant endeavour to provide valuable and exclusive offerings to our customer to experience the difference," said Vineet Bhatia, Chief Operating Officer, Delhi Circle, Tata Teleservices Ltd.

Corporates, big and small, are likely to earn Rs 3,000 crore during the Valentine's day period on account of higher sales of electronic business cards and other gift items like flowers, diamond jewellery, chocolates, mobile phones, gadgets etc, according to findings of the Industrial chamber ASSOCHAM.

"Telecom giants are also witnessing this Valentine's Day as an opportunity to reap in maximum revenue from the youth and will earn Rs 100-150 crore on that day," the chamber said in a statement.

On the expected jump in earnings, Pankaj Sethi, President, Value added Services, Tata Teleservices said, "Various schemes and contests organised by us are enormously appreciated by our customers and we typically witness about a ten per cent incremental revenue spike for about two to three days around Valentine's Day."

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