Fresh tariff war on cards: Shyam-Sistema launch cell service

Fresh tariff war on cards: Shyam-Sistema launch cell service

Jaipur: Mobile telecom tariffs may see another fierce battle as one of the new telecom operators Shyam Telelink, in partnership with Russian giant Sistema, started its pan-India service from Rajasthan and offered local calls and SMS for just 50 paise a minute.

Besides, Shyam-Sistema is also offering bundled handset for Rs999 with lifetime validity.

“The tariffs can fall further if the telecom regulator TRAI makes the termination charge cost based, which would be less than 10 paise a minute from current 30 paise and same can be passed on to the customers," Shyam Group promoter Rajiv Mehrotra said.

Termination charge is paid by a service provider to other operators on whose network the call terminates. Even state-owned BSNL had earlier said that termination charge is due for review for long time, and in its absence, the existing operators are getting undue advantage at the cost of millions of subscribers.

The services launched under Rainbow brand would offer free calls between the same network for first six months, he said, adding the company would announce various new schemes and offers in the coming months.

Shyam Telelink-Sistema is the first operators among nine companies, who have been given new licences in 2008, to start services. The company is planning to start services next in the Southern region.

Mehrotra also asked TRAI to ensure that new operators get cost-based mandatory inter-connection from the existing service providers.

Shyam Telelink-Sistema has pan-India CDMA licence and was the first company to get spectrum across the nation. Sistema is the majority partner with 74% stake in the joint venture (JV).

Launching the services, Chairman of Sistema Vladimir Evtushenkov said: “We consider India as one of the most attractive markets with high potential of growth. This is in line with our global strategy to enter rapidly developing markets and integrate Sistema in the global community."

“Further, India and Russia have traditionally shared a great relationship. Thus, our foray in the country is very logical in terms of furthering the relationship between the two countries," he added.

Shyam Telelink Chairman Vitaliy Savelyev was visibly pleased with the speed of implementation of their plans in the country.

Savelyev said: “The Indian telecom space has witnessed tremendous growth in the past couple of years, and we see the trend continuing."

Earlier, Sietema had announced an investment of $5 billion in India, majority of which was for the telecom sector.