Our Bureau

Mumbai, Dec. 27

RELIANCE Infocomm on Tuesday came up with its lifetime prepaid validity voucher for Rs 995, quick on the heels of Airtel and Hutch doing so.

Until Death Do Us Part; lifetime prepaid validity offers from mobile telephony players are the flavour of the season, and this trend is likely to substantially drive up India's mobile subscriber base, according to telecom analysts.

It started with Tata Teleservices coming up with its "non-stop" offer with a validity period of just two years, and the company reported a record rise in its subscriber base, said one of them.

Airtel came up with what it called the country's first Rs 999 lifetime pre-paid card with a lifetime validity. The card offered the user full talk time on every future recharge of any denomination. It is also available to all existing and potential mobile users.

Hutch followed suit soon after, and now, Reliance Infocomm is additionally allowing the lifetime user to choose his tariff plan too.

The lifetime offers, according to analysts, are too good for any prepaid user to refuse, especially those with limited means.

Even for those who can afford to spend more on their mobile facility, the scheme does away with the bother of having to immediately do a prepaid refill upon the previous one's expiry.

In fact the entire prepaid user base of the country can potentially move over to the , said analysts.

For the operators, although their subscriber base is almost certain to increase by leaps and bounds, it might mean a little more in terms of costs, they will have to keep their networks going and take care of congestion as well. Hopefully for them, the numbers may be so large that a small base not renewing their pre-paid facility on time may not make a difference.

Related Stories:
Hutch's lifetime pre-paid service for Rs 999
AirTel offers pre-paid with lifetime validity Bundles handset for as low as Rs 1,399

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 28, 2005)
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