After Aircel, it is the turn of Tata DoCoMo, the telecom arm of the Tata Group, to jump on to the unlimited call bandwagon started by Reliance Jio.
With nearly every player having already launched such plans, Tata DoCoMo too has started testing a ‘free call’ plan among select customers. It is offering 2 GB of 2G and 3G data along with unlimited local and national calls for Rs 298 per month. The offer is currently available by invite only, and is expected to be rolled out more widely soon.
The offer is cheaper than what other players like Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular are giving at this point.
For example, Airtel and Idea Cellular are giving 1 GB of 4G data and unlimited calls at around Rs 350 for 28 days.
Assuming a cost of Rs 150 for 1 GB of 4G data, the price of unlimited calls comes to around Rs 200 for 28 days.
In case of Tata DoCoMo, the bundle cost is around Rs 300.
Since the data can only be used on 3G or 2G and not 4G, we can assume that 2 GB is worth around Rs 175 in all, leaving the cost of the voice pack at around Rs 125. This makes the offer almost 40% cheaper than the pack that Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are giving.
However, chosen Airtel customers are also getting more lucrative plans. For example, some are getting 6 GB of data and unlimited local, STD and roaming at just Rs 299 for 28 days.
Moreover, Tata does not have network coverage in all areas, and offers 3G only in nine circles: Madhya Pradesh – Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra – Goa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh (West).
Even in these states, the coverage is not uniform and ubiquitous like in the case of Airtel or Vodafone.
Nevertheless, given the company’s positioning as a cost-effective telecom service provider, the new packs are likely to get some traction.
The unlimited call mania was started off by Reliance Jio, which announced India’s first such plan in September at a cost of Rs 149 per 28 days. However, the calls can only be made with 4G handsets or using an app on other devices.
This was followed by Reliance Communications offering the same pack, but with support for all handsets including 2G, 3G and ‘dumb’ phones.
RCom’s partner Aircel was the latest to join in, with an offer of Rs 250 for 1 GB of 2G data and unlimited voice calls for 28 days.
Like Tata DoCoMo, Aircel and RCom also suffer from the same network coverage-related issues as DoCoMo, which acts as a dampener.