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Reliance Communications slashes 3G rates across all circles, triggers possible price war

Reliance Communications Ltd (RCOM), a fully integrated telecommunications services provider, has slashed 3G prices for both postpaid and prepaid customers across all circles it is operating in. RCOM's subscribers (both new and existing) can now avail 3G services at Rs 123 for 1 GB data, Rs 246 for 2 GB and Rs 492 for 4 GB. In addition, in an attempt to poach customers of other telcos, the company is offering 1 GB of 3G data free per month for two months to new customers who are porting to Reliance network.

The move comes close on the heels of Airtel's decision to slash 4G prices in Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh (the cities where it is offering 4G services). RCOM's move is also expected to kick off a 3G tariff war among mobile operators in India who are already feeling the pinch of offering the lowest data and voice call rates in the world. But RCOM's move is music to ears for both online video streaming service providers (since they can provide a better streaming experience for less to their customer) as well as the end consumers.

When we compared RCOM's 3G prices with that of Airtel, we found that Airtel is charging almost double the rates charged by RCOM. For 1GB data, Airtel charges Rs 255 from prepaid users and Rs 250 from postpaid subscribers, whereas the rate is just Rs 123 for RCOM users. Similarly, Vodafone offers 1GB of 3G data per month for Rs 251.

RCOM currently offers 3G services in most number of the circles it is present and is now eyeing 40 per cent of the market share of the smartphone market in the country. It is also planning to launch its own 4G services in the country (Airtel is the only telecom operator doing that as of now).

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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