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Tuesday, Dec 24, 2002

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Choosing the right mobile plan made easy

R.Y. Narayanan


ARE you a mobile phone subscriber in doubt as to whether the plan you have chosen is the right one for you and would like to have some expert advice?

Or is the fear of running a high mobile phone bill gnaws at you and you would like to get an alert if you have reached a specified amount?

The first doubt crops up because of the plethora of plans the mobile phone service providers offer. While the task is easy for the pre-paid subscribers since they pre-determine their monthly billing, it is difficult for the post-paid users.

The four mobile phone service providers in Tamil Nadu circle — BSNL, AirTel, Aircel and BPL Mobile — offer various packages having competitive airtime rates and other value-added services under different plans. For instance, BPL Mobile has eight tariff plans and such a wide variety creates a dilemma to a subscriber as to whether he is in the right plan.

BPL Mobile has now come out with a user-friendly product to enable a subscriber to know whether the plan chosen by him/her is the right one.

According to Mr Subir Ghosh, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, BPL Mobile, Tamil Nadu, the customers would have to approach any BPL Mobile Touch Point with a request to know the best plan for them. An SMS will be sent to 911 with the mobile phone number of the concerned customer.

Various inputs like the airtime used for incoming and outgoing calls, the monthly rental etc in the existing plan for the previous two months would be considered by the system itself without any manual computing involved.

Using this data, the probable cost under any other plan would be worked out and an SMS will be flashed back mentioning what was the best plan for the customer and how much saving could be made by moving to that plan. The entire work would be over in 30 seconds to one minute!

This service is available for post-paid subscribers alone and customers cannot access it directly but can do through any BPL Mobile staff or dealer.

Mr Ghosh said another dilemma that the mobile phone subscribers often faced was that how much would be the bill amount on any given day a month or whether they had run up a huge bill.

To help a subscriber control the bill amount, BPL Mobile has come out with a product `BillAlert' under which the user could pre-set the amount upon reaching which he would be alerted. (Even now users could ascertain the bill they have run up any time in a month by sending an SMS, but the new service would obviate that need).

According to Mr R.A.Venkitachalam, Chief Operating Officer, BPL Mobile, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, in the course of this week, BPL Mobile was rolling out five new services — miOffice, MAPs, Mobile Alert, BillAlert and Hello India as part its efforts to provide value-added services to the customers. These products have been designed based on customer feedback.

He said Hello India would be a boon for those in Tamil Nadu who have their relatives or children living or studying in other States. This plan enables BPL Mobile subscribers calling three STD numbers outside Tamil Nadu without any airtime rates. BPL Mobile had earlier launched Hello Chennai and Hello World on similar lines which has found increasing acceptance.

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