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Which WLL would you opt for: Reliance or Tata?
Thomas K Thomas |
July 17, 2003
Getting jammed by the plethora of offers being made by the country's leading wireless in local loop or WLL limited mobility telephony players?
Planning to take a WLL limited mobility phone connection but are confused between Reliance Infocomm's Monsoon Hungama offer and the Tata Teleservices 999?
It's time to clear the air on who is cheaper and what's on offer.Reliance steamrolls mobile entry barrier
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First let's look at the entry cost of acquiring a WLL handset. While Tata Teleservices is offering a connection with a handset for an initial payment of Rs 999, Reliance Infocomm is offering it at a much lower rate of Rs 501.
But a Reliance subscriber ends up paying -- on a staggered basis -- nearly Rs 7,700, while the Tata subscriber pays just Rs 5,775.
While both companies charge Rs 200 a month for financing the handset, the difference in acquisition cost is due to the fact that the Tata subscriber has to pay the monthly installment only for two years compared with three years by a Reliance Infocomm user.
Tata is also offering a 15-second pulse rate against 60 seconds by Reliance. This means if a Tata subscriber makes a 15-second call, he pays only 23 paise while for the same call the Reliance subscriber will pay Rs 1.99.
This also means that a Tata subscriber, who gets 125 minutes of free usage time every month, will be able to make as many as 500 calls of 15 seconds duration each, while a Reliance customer will be able to make only 50 free calls every month.
When it comes to monthly rentals, Reliance has fixed its rental floor at Rs 249, inclusive of plan charges, as against a monthly fee of Rs 295 by Tata.
While there is not much difference in the local call charges between the two companies at around Rs 1 a minute, the Tata subscriber has the advantage of a 15-second pulse.
On STD calls too, Tata offers 5 to 25 per cent lower tariffs. For instance, an STD call from a Tata WLL phone to a cellular user will cost anywhere between Rs 1.20 per minute to Rs 1.90 a minute depending on the distance called, while Reliance charges a flat fee of Rs 1.99 a minute for the same call.
While there is not much difference between the two when it comes to ISD calls at around Rs 14 to Rs 16 a minute, the Tata subscriber once again has the advantage of getting a 15-second pulse which means a short call to US could cost as low as Rs 4.
Both Reliance and Tata have a number of other tariff plans with higher monthly rentals.
While Tata is clearly 15 to 20 per cent cheaper than Reliance in terms of tariff, the latter has the lead when it comes to offering variety in service and national coverage.
The service: A Reliance subscriber can access a number of data applications like content from R-World. (Reliance mobile portal, which has movie clips, songs, games etc.) Reliance is also offering short messaging services or SMS to its subscribers at 50 paise a message.
A Reliance subscriber also gets discount coupons and access to Reliance web world. Compared with this, the Tata offering is primarily restricted to voice though the company has the technology to introduce such services at a later stage.
Another major advantage for a Reliance subscriber is that the company has rolled out its network in nearly 400 cities across 16 telecom circles.
This number is expected to go up to 700 cities. This enables the company to give roaming type facility to its subscribers, which is a necessity for those who travel a lot.
Tata does not offer any such roaming services at present. While the company has blamed the lack of legal clarity for this, it is also a fact that Tata is only present in just four or five circles making it difficult for it to offer countrywide roaming.So if you are someone who is looking for cheaper tariffs, do not have much inclination for data services and do not roam much, it is likely that you will find the Tata Teleservices phone attractive. Or else you can follow the 3 million people who have opted for a Reliance phone.