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MTNL slashes 3G data charges to Rs 22.5 per GB

State-run mobile operator Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has slashed its 3G data plan charges to a fraction of what others are charging.

The company slashed its 3G data charges to just Rs 22.50 per GB for heavy users in Delhi, much much lower than what its competitors are charging.

For example, Tata DoCoMo charges Rs 750 for 2GB of 3G data, or Rs 375 per GB — nearly 17 times what MTNL is charging in Delhi.The cut is a desperate move by the loss-making operator to attract more subscribers and stem its drastic decline in subscriber revenue.

MTNL is also handicapped by its older 3G technology, which gives a maximum speed of 3.6 Mbps, compared to the 21 Mbps that more recent networks support, at least in theory.MTNL’s new plans benefit for the low-volume user as well as the high-volume user.

For the low-volume user, it is now offering 1 GB of data for one week at Rs 76, or 2 GB for one month for Rs 250. In comparison, Bharti Airtel offers 1 GB for Rs 200.

However, the real savings come for the heavy users.At present, the cheapest 3G tariff offered for heavy users is by Reliance Communications, which gives 15 GB of high-speed data on its USB dongle for Rs 1,300 per month.

In comparison, according to MTNL’s latest tariffs, 15 GB per month will cost just Rs 337.5.The only downside to the bulk plans of MTNL is that one has to buy 100 GB or 200 GB at one go.

The 100 GB pack costs Rs 5,000 and has a validity of 1 year, while the 200 GB pack costs Rs 4,500 and can be used at any time over the next six months. In other words, the 100 GB pack costs about Rs 417 per month while the 200 GB pack costs Rs 750 per month.

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