Should You Really Go After ‘Per-Sec-Billing’ Tariff Plans?

15 12 2009

Recently, I got an interesting email from a friend with subject, PAISA BY PAISA ACCOUNT OF YOUR BILL, where he explained the hidden picture of Pay-Per-Second plans. The buzzword ‘Pay-Per-Second’ or ‘Per Second Billing’ is surely a catchy phrase, but there’s lot needs to be known before we jump on choosing such plans.

Like the article says, most of the ‘Per Second Billing’ plans are in prepaid category. So, if you are a postpaid value customer, you need to give up the perks of your post-paid account to avail benefits of per-sec plan. Also, there are some other plans like 50 paise/min, which are even cheaper than per-sec plan. Though these per-sec plans sound cheaper, switching over to these plans should be decided based on usage pattern. Let’s say, your STD calls outnumber local calls, then you should use special STD packs, like Idea Cellular’s recently launched STD pack in Kolkata region, which charges local & STD calls at Rs 0.5/min.

Though, call rates have dropped down, SMS rates are still on higher side. With Uninor’s prepaid plan, recently launched in AP, Bihar etc circles, you can avail lowest call rates of Rs 0.29/min for local & Rs 0.49/min for STD (from second min of call), but you have to pay Rs 0.10/Rs 1.49 for local/STD SMS, which is still quite high. Same is true for most of the other operator’s SMS rates.

So before you jump on per-sec plan, you should have clear understanding of your usage pattern. Do you make lot more STDs than local? Should you switch to new operator’s cheap plans, but then what about roaming rates? If you travel a lot, then plans like DoCoMo’s 1p/sec on roaming or Vodafone’s ‘Travel Plan’ will give you added advantage. Certainly, Per-Sec-Billing has proven beneficial to new telcos like Tata-DoCoMo, but the first mover’s advantages are eroding fast as old players like Idea, Reliance, Airtel, Vodafone etc all have followed the suite. It’s up to you to decide now!

(Read on Tariff Alerts Data released on 10-Dec-2009 for more information in Box.net widget.)