Saturday, 5 December 2009

Telenor launches India ops

Norwegian telecom firm Telenor announced the launch of its services in seven out of 22 mobile zones in India on Thursday, amid an intense tariff war in the world's fastest-growing wireless market.

The company said it would charge 29 paise per minute for local calls and 49 paise for national long distance calls, staying away from a per-second billing plan that most mobile operators have recently announced.

Telenor, which last year bought into a nascent telecom firm of Indian realty Unitech Ltd, launched its services under the Uninor brand. Intense competition is driving drastic cuts in call charges in the world's second-most populous country.

Tata Teleservices, the No. 6 operator, was the first to launch per-second billing earlier this year, deviating from the industry norm of per-minute billing. The offer was a roaring success.

Mobile services leaders Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone Essar have all followed suit to launch the per-second billing, which analysts have said will significantly dent profit margins.