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Hutch joins price war, cuts pre-paid rates

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August 26, 2004 19:39 IST

Joining the price war with Reliance and AirTel in the pre-paid segment, Hutch on Thursday introduced lowest local call rates of 99 paise to any other mobile but slapped a fixed charge of Rs 25 per month.

The main difference is that Hutch has allowed lower tariffs to be applicable to other mobile networks as well, while AirTel and Reliance had lowered the existing local and STD rates within their own networks.

Hutch has also lowered STD tariffs through a special promotion of Rs 2.25 a minute to all mobiles and fixed phones with a monthly charge of Rs 25.

Hutch has also reduced local call rates to Rs 1.99 a minute from the existing Rs 2.75 to all mobile and fixed phones.

While on STD calls, the company has kept the tariffs unchanged for mobile-to-mobile, in the case of calls to fixed phones it has lowered it to Rs 2.99 from the existing range between Rs 2.99 to Rs 4.99 a minute.

AirTel had slashed its local call tariffs by 60 per cent to Re 1 per minute from Rs 2.49 within its network while increasing the STD tariff to any other mobile and WLL phone to Rs 3.25 a minute from the existing rate of Rs 2.99.

Reliance Infocomm Ltd also had announced reduction in pre-paid tariffs by 60 per cent under which local and intra-circle calls from Reliance IndiaMobile to any other Reliance phones had been reduced to 99 paise per minute from Rs 2.49 per minute.

STD rates on AirTel-to-AirTel have also been cut to Rs 2 per minute from Rs 2.99, making it cheaper than fixed line.

For STD calls to fixed line operators, AirTel had hiked tariffs to Rs 3.25 for a distance slab of 50 to 200 km. But for other distance slabs of 200 to 500 km and above 500 km, the STD rate has been reduced to Rs 3.25 per minute.

In the case of Reliance, calls originating from Reliance pre-paid to other GSM and landline phones would be charged at a flat rate of Rs 1.79 per minute.

Inter-circle calls from RIM pre-paid to other Reliance handsets of fixed wireless phones and fixed wireless terminals anywhere in the country would now cost only Rs 1.79 per minute, down from Rs 2.99 per minute.

Calls to other GSM operators and landline has been reduced to Rs 2.49 per minute.

The new Hutch flat rates will be available to Orange pre-paid users as well.

"We have simplified the pre-paid tariff structure by introducing a flat rate to any local mobile phone. We are also increasing the affordability of a mobile pre-paid connection compared to fixed lines.

"The flat rate for STD calls irrespective of the distance is also strong incentive for preferring a Hutch connection over a fixed line", Harit Nagpal, chief marketing officer Hutch, said.
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