Bulgaria’s third GSM operator VivaTel, which is owned by national PTO Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC), plans to launch its new service on 17 October offering prices 20%-22% lower than those of rivals MobilTel and Globul. The newcomer will charge consumers a flat-rate fee of BGN0.45/minute for cross network calls with a monthly subscription fee of BGN5, which includes ten minutes of calls. Meanwhile, its pre-paid plan is 20% less expensive than its rivals’ tariffs at BGN0.52/minute for calls to fixed or mobile phones. In response the two incumbent cellcos are launching their own packages to try to retain customers. MobilTel, which controls 75% of the business segment and 62% of the overall mobile market, is launching a new package for business users from today, offering savings of up to 25% per month. It is also planning to offer free calls for subscribers to its pre-paid packages between 9pm and 5am. Not to be outdone GloBul, backed by Greek operator OTE, is looking to introduce a low-cost, two-year contract to ‘family subscribers’ offering savings of up to 30% on their monthly bills.