PMO too wants low-tariff cell phone connection

PMO too wants low-tariff cell phone connection

As mobile companies jostle to attract customers by offering lowest tariff plans, many ministries in the Union Government and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) are looking for cheap tariffs for their officers’ official cell phone connection.

The PMO has written to several mobile service providers seeking the best rates for 50 GSM connections with ISD and domestic calls/SMS facilities, 25 Blackberry service connections, special number series, new plans with special emphasis on national/international roaming on select numbers and internal building solution system for uninterrupted signal.
The PMO has also sought from the companies special tariff offers to close-user  groups (such as an office).

In the Union Government, cell phone connection is provided to all ministers (both cabinet and minister of states) and their private secretaries besides secretaries and secretary-rank officials in all the ministries. However in some ministries, the official cell phone connections are being given to director and above officers. “Keeping in mind the recent drastic change in telecom tariffs, it has been decided to explore the option of the best available plan, specific to the requirements of PMO,” it said in a letter to service providers.

Taking advantage of steep cut in call rates, many ministries like Home, Agriculture, and Rural Development are looking to change their service providers in search of lowest tariffs, sources in the Government told Deccan Herald.
“Cutting down the telephone tariffs by taking advantage of price war is also an austerity measure”, said an official.

With the Indian mobile industry getting crowded, the  companies have announced steep cut in tariffs in the past three months including roaming, SMS etc.
Terming the price war predatory, some of the companies have sought Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) intervention.

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