Tata Teleservices has launched Tata Photon + for mobiles, allowing customers on mobile to get Live TV, Broadband music and video streaming, and interestingly “3G-like Speed”. Well, since it is EVDO, they might as call it 3G. MTNL and BSNL already have 3G services available on mobile. Remember that India’s 3G Auction is about spectrum, and not the license to launch 3G services, and any telecom operator with a universal access service licence can launch the service.
Tata Photon is pitching to consumers high speed mobile internet access, as well as value added services like Apalya powered mobile TV, and Push email, web chats, and “Tata Photon Apps”. Apparently, Tata Teleservices also has launched an App Store.
On prepaid, the Tata Photon for mobile is available for Rs. 99, with data tariff at Rs. 0.5/MB; on the first recharge of Rs. 98, users get 10GB free data usage for 2 months on all High Speed Internet Access enabled handset they buy, provided the RUIM (ironically, a Re-Usable Identification Module, like a SIM Card), is not removed, and used on another device.
On postpaid, Tata Photon is offering two plans: a monthly rental of Rs. 249 per month allows users 256 MB of data usage per month, while Rs. 449 per month allows 512 MB. Beyond that, data consumption is charged at Rs. 0.5/MB. As an introductory offer, users also get a waiver of subscription fee of Rs.100 for Live TV till June 30th 2010. Users also get 15GB free data usage per month for 2 months with every HSIA handset they buy. HSIA handsets include Samsung Corby TV, LG 510, Blackberry 9630. They do have top-up plans though:
The EVDO powered mobile broadband data cards for laptops and PCs from both Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications are quite popular, but we wonder if high speed data services will really make a mark on mobile, particularly with additional data charges. Both have completely different use cases, and 3G services haven’t exactly changed the game for MTNL and BSNL. What works for Tata Teleservices is perhaps the handsets that they’ve pitching to users: all encourage heavy data consumption.