How cheap can your mobile tariffs get?


Way back in late nineties when I procured my first mobile phone (a.k.a brick), I used to think more than 10 times before making a phone call from my cellular.

Do you know why?

Mobile Phone usage Each minute of a outgoing call used to cost me a whooping 16 rupees a minute. It was huge ! The phone was used only for ultra urgent and important calls. Fast forward ten years and an outgoing call now costs around 50 paise for a local outgoing call – nearly 30 times lesser. Now-a-days, even if I am at home, I prefer using a cell phone to make a call rather than my landline. It turns out cheaper. No wonder India has become the second largest Wireless network in the world.

The only time I am careful while making calls is when I am traveling out of station. The STD and roaming charges can really make a dent in your pocket. According to research, close to 70% of STD users in India do not use this facility for more than 5 minutes a month. Also close to 80% of users switch off their mobiles while roaming.

However, even this does not seem to be much of a worry now.

Airtel today announced a cut of 40% in their roaming and STD charges. Now that is really is great news, especially for people who live out of their suitcases.

Airtel has taken the market by surprise by slashing STD tariffs by upto 40%. So no matter which plan you’re currently on, STD tariffs per minute will now be just 1 and half rupees. There’s good news even for frequent travellers. The cut in roaming tariffs which in a sense was long overdue has finally happened. So incoming roaming will be charged at a flat rupee a minute. The same tariff is applicable for local outgoing calls while roaming.

The management says it has got its arithmetic right and it expects usage to rise sharply. Bharti says close to 70% of STD users in India do not use this facility for more than 5 minutes a month. Also close to 80% of users switch off their mobiles while roaming. [source]

Given the break-neck competition, all other wireless service providers will soon follow suit. Airtel has set the benchmark now, its just matter of time before others come down on their rates.

I had not really expected rates to come down any further, but it has happened.

Can they come down any further?

  1. SPORTY says

    Virgin and reliance are even offering STD charges at 0.50 paise per minute or less than 1 re.

  2. SPORTY says

    cutting down STD Rates to 1.50 paise per minute is not at all a big deal.
    Thr r service provider in India who are already offering STD AT 0.50 paise or 1.00 rupee from quiet a long time.
    so please dont make a non-sense news out of non-sense announecment by mobile service providers.

    Think twice before making a news.

  3. Anjali says

    Hi !!
    I wanna share my experience with vyke.It provides a wonderfull VoIP services around the world and that too with cheapest rates.Moreover its PER CALL funda instead of per minute call is just awesome.I recommend all of you to use it.Thats all i wanted to share.Rest you can see on vyke.con

  4. andrew says

    No Ramesh you are wrong,now you can put power of rs 31 and you can make STD calls at rupee 1/minute. But validity of the power will be for one month duration.

  5. Ramesh Mayala says

    Airtel has reduced STD charges to Rs 1.5/min. What about Vodafone and Idea? They are still continuing with Rs 2.65/min.

  6. ghosh says

    Unfortunately Vodafone is not living up to their promises. Ads are nice to see but the actual service provided leaves much to be desired for

  7. Sridhar Oruganti says

    Hi Ghosh,
    I meant that at least now companies are stressing on customer care.The vodafone ad makes an attempt towards this.
    Now with competitive pricing the only usp of a mobile op would be proactive customer care.

  8. daksh says

    Yeah read this one in the news-paper today, looks pretty interesting :)

  9. Sridhar Oruganti says

    A welcome move.
    But I think better service (from cc) and optimally priced plans are the way capture the market.
    All mob cos may fight over pricing,but anyone on the customer care.

    p.s. Vodafone’s new ad is stressing on this fact.

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