Update: OnMobile informs us today that they’ve launched the pretones product with Tata Docomo. So now two VAS companies – OnMobile and One97 have deployed Pretones..who’s next? OnMobile also shared some stats: the claim their RingBack Tone platform served 250 million song downloads in 2009, up 55 percent year on year; they handle 34 million music search requests from 6.3 million unique users every month, with a song downloaded every eight seconds. Their RBT platform is present across six countries with 12 deployments.

P.s.: I don’t quite like the phrase “Reverse-Ringback Tone”…quite like a double negative. “Pretones” is shorter, snappier, and since we’re talking about the mobile business, easier to text :)

Original Story (April 9th 2010): Tata Docomo has launched Music based Pretones for post-paid and pre-paid subscribers; Pretones allow callers to listen to songs of their choice when calling anyone. Though Docomo claims this is the first “reverse ring-back tone” service in India, we beg to differ: Idea cellular has launched content based pretones a week and a half ago, and the bragging rights go to them. This does appear to be the first implementation of music on a pretone, though. The service is being charged at a subscription rate of Rs. 15 for 30 days, Rs. 10 per song download activation, and 2 paise per second for accessing the service, and users can subscribe by dialing 543217.

As a consumer, I would prefer to have a playlist instead of just a single song every time. Tata Docomo allows users a selection of three different songs for calling different people. Frankly, that’s just not enough, but it will encourage people to keep changing their songs, and hence more revenue potential for the telco, at Rs. 10 per song.

Two issues had been raised in the comments to the previous Pretones discussion:

— Denial of service: does enabling a Pretone which doesn’t allow an activation of a Caller Ringback Tone (CRBT) result in a denial of service?
— Interoperability: what happens when an Idea subscriber with Pretones enabled makes a call to a Vodafone subscriber with CRBT enabled? Additionally, when it comes to sharing of a Pretone between subscribers, is interoperability possible?

P.s.: The Idea launch was by Oorja. Who’s powering the Pretone for Tata Docomo?

Related:
Oorja Launches PreTones On Idea; Product Details; Replacing Voice Portals?