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TATA-DOCOMO-BRINGS-PRICE-WAR-KOLKATATata DoCoMo,  the GSM venture of Tata Communications with Japan's telcom major NTT DOCOMO is coming to Kolkata very soon before the Durga puja, in September ! The 6th GSM operator in town!

So Kolkatans should be excited expecting cheaper mobile services from Tata Docomo. Well being a Kolkatan I am not excited for Tata Docomo's entry in Kolkata. Let me come to the point why.

If you have a look at Tata Docomo's prepaid plans in the circles it is present, you will find Tata Docomo's USP is 'per second pulse' i.e. you will be charged as per seconds, equivalent to 60p/min.  There's is nothing to be excited as Tata indicom had this per second pulse in Kolkata too  so NOT A NEW CONCEPT to make me excited.

They are saying if  you talk for 67 seconds, you will be charged for 67paisa not Rs1.20, as it is per second pulse. Users from other circles often complain that they charges 2p extra, i.e. here 69 paise, while as per TRAI's GUIDELINE counting error +/-1 sec is permissible.

In Kolkata the cheapest tariffs available are

 (a) MTS CDMA - 30p/min to all local mobile and  local [email protected] 50p for lifetime for one time payment of Rs 99

(b) Aircel offers 25p/min with Ratecutter 47 (effective monthly charge 77) for 30days

(c) Airtel, Vodafone - top 2 cellular operators in Kolkata offers local calls @ 60p/min at monthly commitment of around Rs 30/month so Tata Docomo is not offering that cheaper, if compare to MTS's offer Tata Docomo offer looks pale ! But without monthly commitment 60p/min means Tata Docomo will gain some customers from other GSM operators.

Reliance SMART GSM service, during its relaunching in Kolkata offered all local @ 35p/min for 6months and got a huge response, though after using 6months most of subscribers are back to their previous operator. Docomo's 'per second pulse' offer doesn't make most of my friends excited.

New GSM operators are unable to offer a robust network at first, and as subscriber base increases, you will face more problems as seen with Aircel & Reliance GSM!! I can only hope Tata Docomo will be different! CDMA means the initial job is comparatively easy.

MTS v/s Tata DOCOMO - latest entrants in Kolkata: In Tamilnadu & Kerala where MTS & Tata Docomo both are present, soon after Tata Docomo's launch MTS came up with same 'lifelong pay per offer' with a one time payment of Rs 52, while Tata Docomo never say that this tariff is for lifelong, rather they are saying tariff could be change. I am betting MTS will come up here too with the second pulse to maintain its aggresive market capture plan. Another point must be noted CDMA subscribers are most loyal.

Tata Docomo comes with free Missed Call Alert;  free voicemail and promotional sms pack (free 100-750 local SMS/day after first 1-3 SMS in different circles). MTS is already offering MCA free of cost, and its SMS pack of Rs 31 offers 1000 local & national sms!!

Those people took MTS,  are also maintaining their old mobile operator (GSM/CDMA), and taking Tata Docomo lifetime pack means another 200 in 180 days. And TD is not offering any full talktime topup (Rs. 100 = Rs. 100 talktime). I think Tata Docomo must follow the Tamil Nadu-conditions, Rs 100 in 180 days.

Kolkata - cheapest metro in India where one can get non-veg lunch at Rs 10 only - is also a tough market for mobile operators. ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) here is the lowest compared to other Indian metro cities. Virgin Mobile, another Tata Tele venture,  also fails here.  Remember MTS’s lifelong 30p offer is only in Kolkata, in Southern India it's 49p/min – so MTS hits the right chord – cheapest tariff for the cheapest metro !

Customer Care - as per my personal experience MTS CC is real good, they give you a complain no., and a deadline of 12 working hour too, even you send a negative feedback, they will call you back. While Docomo users of other circles complaining of not reaching CC, reason could be they are screwed up after the huge response from people. But great power comes with great responsibility

IDEA CELLULAR v/s TATA DOCOMO - well once upon a time Tata-Birla-AT&T were business partner in IDEA mobile venture, but I was excited to watch the mobile war between IDEA (Birla) & TATA DOCOMO in Kolkata as they both planned to enter Kolkata before the Pujas in September. But IDEA defers its launch for 2 months, IDEA will be 7th GSM operator in town. Coming February 2010 Unitech Wireless will be here as 8th GSM operator.

Online marketing - Tata Docomo doing the job better than even Virgin Mobile !! They are present on Orkut, Facebook, Bigadda, Twitter and different telecom based forums. NO COMPETITION from other operators in this field.

So do you find Tata Docomo exciting? Are you going to opt out when Tata Docomo comes to Kolkata? Do share your comments !


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