Saturday, March 08, 2008

Beat this!

I remember having a discussion with a NRI a while back on the telecom sector in India versus the one in the US. He was talking of how fantastically cheap billing was in the US and that he had to pay only $60 for a fantastic tariff plan. I of course countered his tariff plan with my Rs.250 (then $6) tariff plan and then factored in all the freebies he got and had my total bill come to less than 50% of his. He then shrugged it off by telling, "Wait for the market to mature, and then lets talk".

Well, its been 2 years since this discussion and even as I agree that its not enough time for the market to "mature", it sure is long enough to know the general direction of the maturity :-), and this is the way its headed. Virgin Mobile has launched its CDMA services in India and apart from having attractive phones on offer they have a very unique feature in their plan. You will get paid for incoming calls (10 paisa/minute)!! US is still trying to get free incoming for prepaid and here we are... paying people for getting incoming calls. Damn, c'mon market, mature! ;-)

On a more interesting note, lets see if we can run a scam here. I am sure we all have changed mobiles in the last year or two. Lets assume we have not sold the old GSM mobile we had. Now, I am relatively confident that if I hunt hard enough, I can get a tariff plan from some service provider which will have all calls to one mobile free or some ridiculously low price of 1 paisa or something. Now start a call from this mobile to the virgin mobile and leave it on the whole day. You will be making approx 9 paise/minute. I am sure someone will catch this and ban the number or something, but by that time we would have made some money off the service providers.! :-)

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