Is Airtel’s Pay Per Second A Marketing Gimmick To Counter Tata Docomo?

By October 31st, 2009 AT 10:05 PM

airtel-tata-docomoWell it seems now that every operator is flooding the market with Pay Per Second concept. Each day we get to see new tariff and special packs are being offered by all new entrants and existing ones. Still many new operators are yet to launch their services in days to come but existing ones don’t seem to leave a bit of it.

People are being convinced by VAS offered by them but new plans and tariffs too. Recently we saw a big wave starting with the new entrant i.e. Tata Docomo launching its services with an all new tariff scheme of pay per second which has brought out a huge movement in the market.

With DOT’s mandatory order for all telecom service providers to go with pay per second now every operator is giving pay per second schemes.

On 30th Oct the leading mobile service provider Bharti Airtel launched their much awaited “Pay Per Second” tariff all throughout India. So we decided to compare their tariff with the new entrant in the market i.e. Tata Docomo. So let’s find out what’s the pros and cons being delivered by the two telecom biggies.

Let’s take on Airtel first and compare it with that of Docomo’s.

  • Airtel as we see has been in the Indian telecom space from the beginning since its inception in the year 2001 and now its one of the most admired brand with the largest number of customers. But looking into their tariff it seems rather awkward since they haven’t kept it normal and simple. With different calling rates to different network it might be sometimes confusing to keep a track on how much money have you chalked out while talking. On the other hand Docomo’s plan seems rather simple and easy to understand. With 1p/sec throughout India consumers will be able to keep track of their account and control their spending.

  • Airtel has kept different SMS charges even in their Pay Per Second plan with local sms being charged at Re.1 and National sms at Rs.1.50. But Docomo’s sms charges are 60p for local and Rs.1.20 for National Which is again lower as compared to that of Airtel’s.

  • Airtel’s Pay Per Second tariff plan which has been dubbed in as “Freedom Plan” has been designed for a limited period of 1 year i.e. the calling facility in basis of per second will be limited for one year only. Whereas that of Docomo’s comes in by default and is available for lifetime. No recharges are needed to opt for per second calling after one year.

  • Coming to the price of the pack to activate the per second tariff, Airtel has kept the price tag ranging from Rs.64 to Rs.99 and varies from circle to circle which is rather absurd. Docomo’s does not charge anything extra for activating the per second pack since the tariff plan by default is on per second basis. In short it might seem that Airtel is taking opportunity to grab some more bites from the consumer’s pocket.

  • The tariff as in case of Airtel’s ranges from 1p/sec to 1.2p/sec and looks unorganized since normal calculation beyond the decimal point is quite hard to understand. Normal local A2A calls are kept at 1p/sec and that to other operators are charged at 1.2p/sec which is 20% more than the normal rate which is being charged by other operators. Docomo’s tariff is simple since all calls are charged at 1p/sec throughout India. P.S. Tata Docomo is offering a limited period offer of STD calls at 1p/sec.

  • Airtel has not considered the per calling service in their post paid service and VAS, IVR calling, etc. Post paid customers might be hindered by this move since they might feel neglected. Tata Docomo’s incorporation of per second tariff is included in their Postpaid service, VAS and IVR. It’s quite cheaper to enjoy the benefits on Tata Docomo’s since you won’t be overcharged as calls will be restricted to the minutes of usage. Since VAS and IVR calls are quite costly there will a lot of savings in case of Docomo.

  • Airtel’s superior network has an edge over other and is a one step ahead that will better in customer’s opting to choose new connection since it being the oldest players in the market has a firm presence all throughout the nation. Docomo will take some time to acknowledge itself as a branded service provider.

  • Airtel is costly in terms of tariff plan but Docomo is cheaper compared to that of Airtel’s.

Now its just a wait and watch game to see who heads for the crown and immerges as the number one service provider in India. The battle has just begun as new operators are still to join the war.

So we ask you now what you verdict is going to be? Should you go for Airtel or Tata Docomo? Do have your say and leave a comment.

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@raj What is really define as “costly” my friend?? U make is sound as if before all this per sec non sense we were paying 1000s of rs extra!!! Lets look at what airtel (and its setting partner Vodafone) has done over the last 10-15 years…tariffs then were 32 rs per min..they brought it down to 1 rs per min without any charges and 30p onnet for a nominal charge per month…they brought in the concept of lifetime validty, easy recharge, ATM recharge, they have tieup with IFFCO and are subsidizing the rural mobile penetration drive..but all these innovation and… Read more »


AnujB : I think if “cheapest” is always the best…then we will all move into the stone age. We all are discussing and “demanding” tariffs to be dropped further…we r saying airtel’s lost it becus it charge 0.2p more per second…we r crowing reliance/docomo etc as the “best” operator basis few paise here and there With the collective brains on show here..think we all should focus on the real differentiators customer service / network quality / avalability of channel etc. As avik clearly pointed out…they are in the business of making money (and thank god for that too)…hence its simple… Read more »

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