Reliance Mobile hikes SMS pack rates

Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 20:32 by Tech Correspondent

Reliance Mobile has revised SMS pack rates and made them costlier than ever. Reliance customers can avail the unlimited local and national SMS pack at a fixed monthly price of Rs. 69 in all circles.

Earlier, Reliance Mobile offered text messages packs at denominations of Rs. 11, Rs. 25 and Rs. 1/day which gave local and national SMS at 1 paise, capped at 500 SMS/day. Later, Reliance SMS packs were revised to Rs. 19 for 1 paise/SMS for the first 500 SMS of a day, Rs. 39 for 500 local and national SMS/day, and the third pack consisted of Rs. 1 on a daily deduction basis for 500 local and national SMS/day. Read more: Reliance 1-paisa-per-SMS plan

The trend is not new, but a usual policy followed by telecom operators to roll out rationalized plans and later make them inaccessible with a hike in prices. Currently, the newly framed Reliance SMS rates offer 1 Paise/SMS pack at Rs. 39, while the previous tariff rate was Rs 19. Reliance customers can access the 500 local and national SMS/day pack benefits at a revised rate of Rs. 69, instead of Rs. 29.

Similarly, the Daily Deduction Pack of Rs. 1 that gave 500 local and national SMS/day will be withdrawn after six months, but the subscribers who had enrolled for this plan before Aug. 20, 2010, can continue on the same plan without any tariff change. Also see: Reliance 3G services launch

Reliance Mobile were first to introduce India’s most affordable tariff plan “Simply Reliance” at a uniform rate of 50p/min for Local, STD and Roaming calls followed by uniform calling rates of 1p/sec for Local, STD and Roaming calls, and an optional unlimited calling plans of Rs. 1 per/3 mins call for Local, STD and Roaming calls. The operator also introduced a 15000 free SMS/month Happy texting on the Unlimited SMS plan. It was found groundbreaking because an average customer sends 25 text messages per month and Reliance’s offer was 600 times more than the average usage for the month.

Recently, Reliance launched SMS-based voice conference calls service in India by joining Group Talk to offer a conference call between a group of 9 contacts with a single SMS for its Reliance Mobile GSM and CDMA subscribers. Though the innovations are a lot from Reliance’s side, but its steep increase in the prices of the SMS pack by has made Reliance text plans costlier than what opponents Docomo, Airtel, Vodafone and Aircel offer.

Due to line-up of numerous telecom operators, the current marketing strategy demands introducing attractive offers with freebies initially to stay hot. Later, the operators focus more on quality that would cost them more and pass on that cost to the customers by revising tariff rates. Well, many customers are willing to pay higher prices for better quality and now it’s up to the operators to provide congestion-free network and better service.