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Mar 03, 2006, 10.02 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Airtel, Idea slash ISD rates by up to 50 pc

Even as mobile operators announced STD rates of Re 1 per minute, Airtel Cellular and Idea Cellular have gone a step further to reduce international long distance (ISD) tariffs by up to 50 per cent.

Even as mobile operators announced STD rates of Re 1 per minute, Airtel Cellular and Idea Cellular have gone a step further to reduce international long distance (ISD) tariffs by up to 50 per cent.

As part of its One India tariff scheme, Airtel has dropped tariffs for ISD calls to Rs 7.20 per minute compared to Rs 14.24 per minute under the existing plans on offer. Telephone calls to the Gulf and African countries will now be available for Airtel subscribers at Rs 9.99 a minute compared to the current rate of Rs 19 a minute.

Heating up the competition, Idea Cellular has also reduced its ISD tariffs to Rs 7.50 a minute for ISD calls to USA, UK and Canada and Rs 10 a minute for calls to Africa, SAARC, Asia and Europe. Rates for ISD calls to other countries will remain at Rs 40 a minute for both Airtel and Idea users.

The move comes after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India decreased the Access Deficit Charge on outgoing ISD calls by Rs 1.70 a minute. However, the operators have dropped the tariffs deeper than the reduction in the ADC charges effected by the telecom regulator last week.

STD calls

Meanwhile, Airtel, Hutch and Idea Cellular have announced their versions of One India plan, which offers STD rates at Re 1 a minute. The Hutch offer will allow its subscribers to make STD calls to any destination at Re 1 a minute. Subscribers can avail themselves of the offer by paying an additional charge of Rs 250 a month over and above what they are already paying. The plan is being offered to both post-paid and prepaid customers of Hutch across all its circles from March 4.

On the other hand, Airtel has announced a new plan with monthly rentals of Rs 299 called `India Home' which offers Airtel to Airtel local calls at Re 1 for a 2 minute call and all other calls and SMS across the country at Re 1 per minute. Another plan called `India Roam' plan is specially created for the roaming user and offers roaming calls at just Re 1 per minute for a monthly fee of Rs 499.

For its pre-paid customers, Airtel has introduced a Rs 899 Recharge plan wherein all local calls, STD calls and all SMS will be charged at Re 1.

Idea Cellular's offer for post-paid users is similar to that of Airtel's India Home plan. For pre-paid card users, Idea has launched a recharge coupon of Rs 249, which offers all local and STD calls at Re 1.

Taken from Business Line

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