Your Mobile Phone calls could be free in future !


Atleast that what Sachin Pilot, the young Minister of State for Telecommunications and Information Technology thinks.


Here is a statement he has made:

“With the advent of mobile technology, it has made India leapfrog into a country with a 51 per cent teledensity and made call rates come down to the lowest in the world — they are between one or two cents a minute. The call rates are so cheap that a lot of telecom companies keep complaining how they are bleeding and how they are in the red. I think the day is not far away when call charges will be free and people will have to make money on data transfer.

It’s just an assumption, but that’s the way it’s headed. But it’s certainly the next phase of demands that the Indian telecom consumers are making and most certainly the way the telecom operators are looking at in the future.”

What is your take on this? Will Indian Telecom companies be able to survive without charging for voice calls. I seriously have doubts. Even though call rates are so low, it is a volume game and that is where Telecom companies still have majority of their earnings. Yes, over next few years, data transfer & other VAS will bring good amount of money into the kitty, but still telecom companies cannot offer free calls !

What is your take on this?

  1. Viral says

    Hello Arun,

    With regard to the topic of discussion raised by you in this article, I, in fact, hold this view within me since quite some long time that a time would come when customers would be provided with ‘Extra’ talk time, rather than ‘Free’ talk time, as interestingly narrated by you.

    It is quite obvious that with the advent of competitive price wars fought by over-crowded telecom service operators, it would be none other than telecom customers who would tend to benefit from the scenario.

    For example, instead of ‘free’ voice services, what these telecom operators would finally settle for is a ‘Double Talktime’ sort of schemes (or for that matter 50% additional talk time, as may be suited) with the same payments sum as prevailing now for prepaid customers. The same sort of plans can be replicated in billing system too.

    It could be like Pay Rs.100 and get Rs.150-200 Talk time. This would mean that call charges may remain same, but operators would provide additional facility to talk. In effect, it will bring down per call costs for customers, but cheaper calls would encourage them to talk more and spend more.

    This would, in effect, bring down the over-all usage costs of all different services for the end-users. Gradually, all services would be rendered cheap based on the innovative scheme of talk time bonanza, instead of further lowering the usage per minute – which has already reached a trough of ‘sub-1 paise’ plan as announced by Videocon Group recently.

  2. Pradep says

    The way teleco operators are slicing their prices to grab new customers.. it may be possible in next 4-5 years. Completely free is hard to believe at this point of time, but for sure prices will be almost free..anyways its good for us.

    making money through the data and other value added services like caller tunes, alerts etc will also increase in the coming days, who ever imagined that instead of trin tring you will be able to greet your caller with songs of your choice :)

  3. Vishal Sanjay says

    I think playing ads between before phone calls, and selling pics, songs and other stuff will help telecom companies monetize themselves, if in case there is any such thing.

    When 3G gets popular in India, telecom companies will be able to show display ads which is another source of revenue. Hope I’m not acting like a fool :)

  4. S Nathan says

    Arun ,Its happening.. Google voice is the best example.u can make calls for free.then now a days Telecom companies become ISP and charge for the data transfers.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      It is interesting that so many of you feel (got many comments on twitter as well) that free telephony may actually see light of day.

      I am a bit apprehensive, but lets wait and see where we are heading :)

  5. Zubair says

    This is not a infeasible assumption at all looking at the way the tele industry is going forward in India..


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