New price war may be brewing in India

Dylan Bushell-Embling
01 Dec 2014
Daily News

A second Indian mobile operator has slashed its prices for data plans, leading to speculation that a new price war is brewing in a market that was finally seeing some sorely-needed price rationalization.

Reliance Communications has unveiled an unlimited postpaid data plan for 999 rupees ($16) per month.

The plan will initially debut in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune. In other cities, the company will offer a 999 rupee plan with 40GB of data for postpaid customers and 20GB for prepaid users.

RCom CEO consumer Gurdeep Singh told the Economic Times that this is not a limited promotional offer, and the operator plans to eventually extend the deal nationally.

But a telco executive quoted for in report has stated that offering unlimited mobile data to a large customer base is “technically impossible” while maintaining network quality.

RCom's announcement comes days after Bharti Airtel revealed it has cut its prices for 4G services to below that of 3G, offering a 10GB data plan for 999 rupees per month.

The close proximity of the cuts has observers wondering if it marks the return of a new tariff war, soon after a sorely-needed wave of price increases in the intensely competitive market.

Both Airtel and RCom appear to be making a pre-emptive move to address the planned launch of a nationwide 4G network by Reliance Jio Infocomm. The launch has the potential to shake up India's mobile market.

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