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Old 27-12-14   #1
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Airtel Rolls Out Prepaid Packs for VoIP Calls (Skype, Hangouts Etc)

Bharti group Chairman Sunil Mittal

Bharti Airtel on Friday, has announced special data packs for VoIP services. For prepaid users, VoIP exclusive pack will be priced at Rs 75 for 75 megabyte (MB) with a validity of 28 days. "This will allow customers to make between 200 and 250 minutes of calling. Similarly, affordable VoIP plans will soon be launched for postpaid customers. There would be no other charges in respective of VoIP calls," Bharti Airtel said. However, this will be implemented over the next few weeks, and not immediately. Pre-paid users will be able to use current data packs, if they have recharged any before December 24, till expiry.

But, this is still not cheap as it was earlier. Bharti Airtel offers one gigabyte (GB) of data for Rs 156 (Delhi circle) to its pre-paid 2G users and Rs 249 for pre-paid 3G users. Pre-paid users, which constitutes for about 95 per cent of mobile user base, normally pay one paise per second base calling rates, thus Re 1 a minute.

Without the special VoIP data packs, Airtel said it would charge 10 paise per 10 kilobytes (KB) data usage on VoIP for its 2G users and 4 paise per 10KB for its 3G users. This one GB of data for VoIP usage or Skype use will now cost about Rs 10,000 on 2G and about Rs 4,000 on 3G network, irrespective of whether you have a data pack active on your phone.

On an average, a Skype-to-Skype voice call (without video) consumes about 350-375KB of data for one minute. Calls from Skype to mobile numbers and landline consumes about 150KB data, but this is not yet permitted in India. If it's a video call, Skype-to-Skype on mobile phones consumes about 3.75 megabytes (MB) of data in a minute. And, high definition video call on Skype would consume as much as 22.5MB in a minute.

So, any 2G user will end up paying about Rs 3.50-3.75 per minute for just a voice call (without video) on Skype-to-Skype on a mobile. A 3G user will be paying a little less. His outgo will be Rs 1.40-1.48 per minute, which is still much higher than the normal call charges. On the other hand, for a video call on Skype on mobile will cost Rs 15.42 a minute, while the HD calls will be charged as much as Rs 92.52 per minute. And, more interestingly, 1GB of data will run out in just about two hours of video calling on Skype.

Source : Airtel rolls out special data packs for VoIP | Business Standard News
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