It appears that Bharti Airtel is facing stiff competition from new GSM operators and of course state owned BSNL which has the best plans for heavy mobile phone users. Airtel is banking on a Great marketing gimmick of Special Five. The catch in this Special 5 is all the 5 numbers have to be Airtel mobile numbers. Wait a minute, hasn’t Reliance offering such plans for the past 3 years ? In conference call, RCom executives claimed that they are the ones who launch innovative tariff plans first and the rest of the industry follows and this now sounds true.
As far as quality of service goes, all the operators are the probably the same. Our insiders tell that Reliance is planning a big nationwide Wireless disruptive tariff launch as soon as they get a green signal from their network architects about its efficiency and optimization which the company has undertaken and is spending on CAPEX only at those places.
Here is what JP Morgan had to say in a report on Wireless India,
…incumbents (Bharti/Vodafone) are trying to counter the per-second billing offer from Tata Docomo by offering lower on-net call rates (Rs. 0.20/min) for up to 5 mobile numbers. However, re-sellers indicated that the pickup of this scheme has been limited due to high rentals (Rs 75/month). Further, local/STD tariffs have settled down to Rs0.60/Rs1.0 per min (through bonus cards worth Rs25-45 per month), lower than the earlier base tariffs of Rs1.0/Rs1.50 per min.