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TMCNet:  Uninor offers 'cheapest' way to access Facebook, WhatsApp [Internet] [Times of India]

[March 12, 2014]

Uninor offers 'cheapest' way to access Facebook, WhatsApp [Internet] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW DELHI: Uninor is offering what it claims is the telecom industry's cheapest access to popular social networks Facebook and WhatsApp, as Telenor's Indian unit aims to double its data users and revenue in 2014. In line with the Norwegian parent's global strategy, Uninor is offering both apps at fixed prices, instead of measuring usage through megabytes and gigabytes.


For example, an hour of unlimited Facebook app usage will cost 50 paise for a Uninor customer, while a day's usage will cost Re 1. WhatsApp will cost Re 1 for a day and Rs 5 for the week. According to the company, this could lower a user's spending on those apps by about 50-60 %.

"Internet is the way in which customers consume data and our approach will be to make that usage the cheapest among all operators," Morten Karlsen Sorby, Uninor's nominated CEO, said in a statement. As much as 24% of the company's about 28 million subscribers spread across six circles of UP (West), UP (East), Bihar (including Jharkhand), Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat are data users.

The company launched the offer in Gujarat and will soon launch in Maharashtra and Goa, the circles where Uninor has seen the highest internet consumption over the past year. Uninor will subsequently launch the programme in its remaining circles.

"Selling internet as rupees per MB is like selling air or train tickets as rupees per kilometre. Customers use internet for services like Facebook or WhatsApp. Our plan is to make these services the cheapest on Uninor," said Sorby. He, however, admitted that such an offer would hurt its SMS revenue, but hoped to offset that through higher revenue from data. The company currently offers its services to pre-paid users over the second-generation mobile technology , which many say could hamper its plans to add data users since the speed on this technology is typically far slower than on 3G.

(c) 2014 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited

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