India's third largest mobile operator Idea Cellular on Thursday said it was shifting 1.5 million prepaid customers to a per second billing plan (PSB). Out of its total customer base of over 166 million, nearly 157 million are prepaid users.
"The 1.5 million Idea prepaid customers who are currently on per minute billing (PMB) will be shifted to PSB plan, progressively, over the next 30 days," the company said in a statement.
The new strategy, also being worked on by Bharti Airtel who are also moving their prepaid customers to PSB, comes at a time when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has suggested that Indian service providers should compensate subscribers for call drops and poor quality of services.
"We have always been customer-centric in our approach, offering choice and convenience to customers and hence we have been providing both PMB and PSB plans to users, so far. Henceforth, we will now be offering PSB plan, by default, to our entire base of nearly 157 million existing and new prepaid users," said Sashi Shankar, chief marketing officer of Idea Cellular.
Idea has spent Rs.4,050 crore (excluding spectrum) in the 2014-15 financial year and has increased its capex plan for the 2015-16 fiscal to Rs.6,000-6,500 crore. Idea also said that it will continue to invest in expanding its robust network of nearly 150,000 cell sites, covering over 360,000 towns and villages with voice and data offerings on 2G and 3G; and roll out 4G LTE services in 10 key markets, starting calendar year 2016.