The state telco has finally joined the tariff war by launching its pay per second plan. It had earlier said that it would not introduce such a plan.
Interestingly, Gurudas Kamat, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology had said this in the Lok Sabha on November 23: "MTNL has neither implemented nor has any plan at present to implement tariff based on per second billing system. As per Telecom Tariff Order issued (and amended from time to time) by TRAI, mobile operators have the flexibility to offer variety of tariff plans depending on the market conditions and subject to reporting of the same to TRAI."
When asked about the change of plan, Shashank Malviya, deputy general manager, PR and marketing, told Telecom Yatra, "There is no other way. Market forces have compelled us to go for pay per second. Every customer is demanding this and we have to give them what they want."
Under the new plan, both prepaid and postpaid subscribers will be able to make voice and video calls at half a paise per second to MTNL Delhi and Mumbai networks. They would be charged at one paise per second for calls made to any other network across India.
The SMS rates have also changed. The subscribers will now be charged at 25 paise for local, one rupee for national and Rs 2.50 for international SMS. The company has also introduced very low data usage charges on mobile - one paisa per 10KB, applicable to both GPRS and 3G Jadoo services.
The company says in a statement that MTNL currently has 4.4 million subscribers on its mobile services, including about 140,000 3G customers.
MTNL Delhi customers seeking a new prepaid (Trump) connection can avail this lifetime validity tariff plan by purchasing a SIM kit worth Rs 100 and a Trump activation coupon of Rs 49. An existing MTNL prepaid customer willing to shift to pay per second plan needs to recharge his connection with a prepaid voucher of Rs 45. The tariff validity will be 365 days for such conversion.
Existing MTNL postpaid (Dolphin) subscribers too can avail the new plan by giving a fixed monthly charge of Rs 149 and new subscribers need to pay a one time activation charge of Rs 500 plus taxes.
GSM mobile services are being provided by MTNL in Mumbai, Delhi and the towns of Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Navi Mumbai.
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