Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications decided not to charge more for sending text messages on December 31.
RCom has said it will maintain its special SMS tariffs even on December 31. RCom had recently announced new SMS tariffs allowing subscribers to send an SMS for 1 paisa and unlimited free SMSes per day for a daily rental of Re 1.
Airtel also announced they would maintain regular call and SMS tariffs on December 31, as subscribed to by the user.
But Vodafone and Aircel subscribers will end up paying Re 1 for every local message and Rs 1.50 for a national SMS, irrespective of any special SMS tariffs applicable as per the subscribed monthly plan. Aircel will extend the ‘black out’ SMS rates to January 1 too, with the exception of 25-paisa rate for each SMS (local and STD) in Chennai and Rest of Tamil Nadu subscribers on January 1.
Tata DoCoMo will charge 50 paisa for local and national SMSes. The operator will continue to offer its recently introduced diet SMS plan to subscribers, where a user pays 1 paisa per character for the first 15 characters.
Regardless of the subscriber tariff plan, SMS rates of most other operators on December 31 would be between 50 paise and Rs 1.50. The telecom companies stand to rake in more than Rs 100 crore through text messages exchanged on December 31 and January 1. Last year, India’s 350 million mobile subscribers sent over a billion text messages.
For mobile operators, occasions such as Holi, Diwali, Christmas, New Year and Independence Day spell an increase in SMSes and voice traffic and are, hence, treated as ‘black out’ days where they charge slightly higher SMS rates, irrespective of the tariff plan subscribed. [source]