Thursday, May 11, 2006
MUMBAI: The bugle was sounded for a fresh battle on Thursday in the booming Indian telecom market.
?Don?t stop Mobile?, a new scheme unveiled by Tata Indicom across 20 circles that allows customers to make free outgoing calls for a period of 2 years to any Tata Indicom Mobile or Tata Indicom fixed phone. It allows a maximum outgoing talktime of 3,600 minutes (60 hours) to another Tata Indicom phone.
It was only in October last year that Tata Indicom had coined a new free incoming scheme called ?non-stop mobile? which forced its competitors to follow suit quickly as new subscribers emerged to enlist for the Tata scheme.
The October scheme enabled subscribers to stay connected for two years without paying rental every month.
?We have started to get some scale?, declared Darryl Green, chief executive officer of Tata Teleservices Ltd at a function to launch the latest scheme.
Tata Tele is placed sixth in the pecking order for mobile phone operators in the country.
But its ambition is to become the leader in the field and this has sparked the company?s top brass to uncork innovative schemes regularly to rustle up new subscribers.
Would it spark another war? The CEO has a different take – ?I don?t think of it in terms of a war; what we are doing is to make it affordable?, he says.
But making it affordable to the bottom of the pyramid in India is also a paying proposition.
According to Darryl, the margins before depreciation and interest is pegged at an astounding 60%.
For a country that started mobile telephony at tariff rates at Rs 16 per minute to free outgoing calls today, these are heady times.