By Shailendra Bhatnagar,Bloomberg
New Delhi: Bharti Airtel Ltd., India’s biggest wireless company, cut its international call rates by as much as 11%, after the regulator scrapped a levy to sustain demand in the world’s fastest growing mobile-phone market.
Wireless calls to the US, Australia, Singapore, Canada and Malaysia will cost Rs6.4 (15 cents) a minute, compared with Rs7.2 earlier, while calls to the Middle East and India’s neighbouring nations will cost Rs9.2 a minute, down from Rs9.99, said Sanjay Kapoor, Bharti’s president for mobile-phone services.
“We’ll continue to be at the forefront in driving affordability and providing greater value to our customers,” Kapoor said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange today. He didn’t give prices of overseas calls from fixed-line phones.
Bharti Chief Executive Officer, Manoj Kohli expects to sign up more than a quarter of the 500 million mobile-phone users India forecasts to have by 2010. New Delhi-based Bharti had 35.44 million mobile-phone subscribers at the end of February.
India offers the world’s lowest local mobile-to-mobile call rates -- as little as 2 US cents a minute. Bharti and its rivals such as Reliance Communications Ltd. added 6.22 million mobile-phone users in February, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said on 16 March.
India, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, had 162.53 million mobile-phone subscribers at the end of February, making it the third-largest wireless market in the world by users.