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Rediff.com  » Business » Idea slashes MMS tariff by 80% to 99 paise

Idea slashes MMS tariff by 80% to 99 paise

September 13, 2003 14:23 IST

Idea Cellular on Friday slashed tariffs for sending multimedia messaging from Rs 5 to 99 paise.

This makes sending picture and audio messaging cheaper than sending short messages which is being offered at an average of Rs 2 a message. Some operators are charging Rs 5 for international SMS. 

In order to popularise MMS services, Idea Cellular has introduced latest fad in the mobile messaging world - video messaging.

Idea's video messaging is the first in the country which allows users  to not only download clips from the latest Bollywood flicks but also forward it as a message.

Idea's 300,000 mobile subscribers, including pre-paid card users, can also shoot and send their own video message with voice recordings.

Himanshu Kapania, chief operating officer, Idea Cellular said, "We feel that this is just about the right time for multimedia messaging to take off. All major issues which stood in the way of MMS proliferation has been resolved including availability of suitable handsets, interconnection between operators and investing in MMS capable infrastructure." 

Idea Cellular, which was one of the first to launch picture messaging, has 3,000 MMS customers in Delhi. The video messaging service will be free for customers till October 15 after which a charge of 0.99 per message will be levied.

Subscribers will, however, need to have an MMS enabled handset which costs upwards of Rs 10,000.

In order to shoot own video, users will need to have a camera phone that allows moving video. At present there are three such mobile phone models available in market.

Idea Cellular has tied up with IMI Mobile for sourcing content. IMI Mobile owns Intellectual Property Rights for movies and music videos and would be the one point source for Idea's content requirements.

The company also plans to launch news feeds for mobile users.  Application of camera phones are catching on the imagination of cell users.

According to analysts, the sale of new camera phones  will outdo the number of digital cameras sold by next year. 

Thomas K Thomas in New Delhi