GSM operators offering ‘goody bags’ to stave off WiLL threat

30 Jul 2003

Indian cellcos have once again resorted to offering special offer deals with bundled handsets in an attempt to wrest initiative from rival fixed line operators offering limited mobility wireless in the local loop (WiLL) services. Bharti Group unit Airtel has reportedly teamed up with the credit card division of the State Bank of India to introduce a package offering a Motorola T190 model for INR299 a month over twelve months. State-controlled Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is also looking at similarly cheap phone bundles and in the interim has introduced a new offer for Independence Day offering free talk time spread over six months. The cellcos are reacting to aggressive competition from the likes of WiLL operator Reliance Group which bundles a CDMA handset for a down-payment of INR501, with the balance payable in monthly instalments.