Sources in the trade told FE that the companys launch has been delayed and that various options were now being worked out. It may be recalled that the launch was initially scheduled for Diwali, which was subsequently deferred. While it is learnt that the launch is scheduled shortly, a clear time-frame could not be ascertained.
The pre-paid segment is still the most important in the cellular space and the break-up between pre-paid and post-paid is about 65:35. More importantly, around 80 per cent of the new additions are still accounted for by the pre-paid market. Interestingly, most cellular operators across the country have priced their pre-paid entry level cards at the sub-Rs 100 level. The Reliance Infocomm spokesperson, when contacted, said, We do not comment on speculation.
Reliance Infocomm announced the launch of its much-awaited Reliance IndiaMobile service in the end of December 2002. In a significant development, the company launched its Monsoon Hungama offer mid-last year at an all-inclusive entry price of Rs 501; this was meant to be targeted at the user who viewed the handset cost as an entry barrier. It is gathered that this offer has garnered about 25,000 subscribers everyday. As reported earlier, the pre-paid launch will also centre around the Hungama theme.
For the pre-paid service, Reliance is likely to go with handset manufacturer Motorola to be its vendor. So far, the company has opted for Korean majors LG and Samsung. US-based company Comverse Technologies was given the contract for putting up the Intelligence Network (IN) for the pre-paid service.