Tata DoCoMo GSM mobile phone service has come to Mumbai.
The GSM cellphone service from Tata Teleservices was launched in the sourthern states in June. With the new GSM mobile telephone operator, Tata DoCoMo becomes the eighth operator in the lucrative Mumbai-Maharashtra market.
It is important to remember that Tata DoCoMo will be the GSM brand, while Tata Indicom will continue as the CDMA mobile operator.
Tata DoCoMo has surprised rivals and customers alike with the launch of its per-second billing and 1 paisa per second national calls. Per second billing from Tata DoCoMo means you need to pay only for the exact number of seconds you call. In most other telecom operators, the payment is on a pulse basis: For eg; if you are a subscriber in a 5-second pulse scheme, you will be charged for two pulses, even if your call is just one second over the first pulse. The company claims that Tata DoCoMo is a 3G-ready network, though this means little for the subscribers currently, since 3G services are not open for private mobile operators so far.
Tata DoCoMo has also introduced one paisa per second tariffs across its national network. This means a long distance call (STD call) from Mumbai to Thrivananthapuram will cost the same as the call from Mumbai to, say, Thane. This simplifies the billing process for the customer, who can easily calculate how much a call will cost.
However, the 1 paisa per second is an introductory lifetime offer. The company may withdraw the Re 1 per second offer later.
As of now, the Tata DoCoMo GSM mobile network is available in Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Orissa, Kerala, Mumbai, Maharashtra-Goa and Madhya Pradesh-Chhatisgarh telecom circles.
Tata DoCoMo is a joint venture operation between the Tata group and NTT DoCoMo of Japan. Late last year, NTT DoCoMo acquired a 26% stake in Tata Tele Maharashtra Ltd for over Rs 12,000 crore.
Mumbai already has seven mobile phone operators – these are Airtel, Reliance, Aircel, MTNL (Trump and Dolphin), Vodafone, Loop Mobile and Idea Cellular.
Initially, the Tata DoCoMo GSM mobile operation was launched in Tamil Nadu. Currently, the company (Tata Teleservices) holds a licence to operate mobile phone services in all 18 telecom circles in India. However, Tata DoCoMo is not launched across all circles so far. The company plans to introduce the Tata DoCoMo network across all circles by the end of the year. In the New Delhi circle, Tata DoCoMo is awaiting spectrum to launch the operations. In West Bengal and Assam, the company is believed to be running trials before the launch. Media reports say that Tatas will launch the Tata DoCoMo GSM mobile phone service in West Bengal before Duga Puja in September.
Tata DoCoMo operation was launched in Mumbai on August 9. The company has twpo brand ambassadors for the new GSM brand – Krushnaa Patil, the youngest to climb the Everest and Pooja Chopra, Ponds Femina Miss India World 2009.
Tata DoCoMo is investing close to Rs 2 billion to expand its cellular tower network in India. Many of the towers are shared by Tata Indicom and Tata DoCoMo.
Recent reports from Japan said that DoCoMo may increase the stake in Tata Teleservices from the current 26%.
3G wireless spectrum auction is expected to be held sometime later this year. Most of the telecom operators in India are looking forward to the spectrum auction, which is mired in controversies. As if now, only government-owned mobile operators BSNL and MTNL have been given mobile spectrum. However, these companies too are expected to bid for 3G spectrum when the auction opens, and will have to match the highest bid if they are to keep the spectrum awarded to them already.
Tata Teleservices is making losses quarter after quarter. The company hopes to be in profit in a period of three years. The launch of Tata DoCoMo GSM service in the southern states has been hugely successful, with many stores running out of SIM cards for subscribers. If Tata DoCoMo is able to sustain this initial momentum, the company may be seeing profits in a shorter while.
In Japan, NTT DoCoMo is the largest mobile telephony operator, with a 50% market share. DoCoMo is a technology pioneer, and is already testing 4G technology in Japan with 250 mbps download speeds in a wireless network. The company is already testing LTE (Long Term Evolution), seen as the next highest standard in telecom technologies. Tata Teleservices is rather a late starter in the mobile phone services arena, though the company claims that it is the fastest-growing mobile phone services operator in the country. Rival CDMA operator Reliance Communications, on the other hand, has been a market leader. Reliance, which is predominantly a CDMA player, recently launched its GSM service under the brand name Reliance GSM. Tata, meanwhile, has given a whole new brand name for the GSM cellphone service as Tata DoCoMo.
Tata Indicom too has been aggressive in the recent past, launching high-speed internet access devices like the Tata Photon Broadband Plus, which is a CDMA-HSIA based device for wireless internet access. Tata Photon has received a good market response for the Tata Photon network, mostly in cities. Photon network is currently not available in several cities and a large number of villages in India.
Andhra Pradesh 9030012345
Orissa 90400123 45
Tamil Nadu’ 9043012345
Madhya Pradesh 9039012345
Mumbai 90290-12345 and 90290-000121