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MobileFirst alliance: sign of co-opetition

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This BPL-Escotel-RPG-Spice alliance would offer enhanced value across tariffs, roaming, long distance calling and new generation technology and services to its three million subscribers across 700 towns in the country.

MUMBAI: In a strategic move to leverage synergies, four Indian cellular operators - BPL Mobile, Escotel, RPG Cellular and Spice Telecom have announced the ‘MobileFirst’ alliance. With a contiguous pan-India footprint, the MobileFirst alliance would offer enhanced value across tariffs, roaming, long distance calling and new generation technology and services to its three million subscribers across 700 towns in the country. The alliance would also deliver a common Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform to provide home network experience anywhere-anytime to its subscribers across the alliance member networks.

With a backbone of over 10,000 kms, MobileFirst encompasses contiguous cellular circles, with BPL Mobile in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Escotel spanning Haryana, Kerala, UP West, UP East, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, RPG Cellular in Chennai, and Spice Telecom in Punjab and Karnataka, providing a pan Indian footprint.

The MobileFirst would provide advantage on tariffs that include special rates for long distance calling, customized tariff plans, roaming wherein the customers would get seamless roaming across India and over 400 international networks besides a roaming rewards program. The MobileFirst new generation technology and services would facilitate payments through mobile phones, mobile Internet access, Mobile entertainment and national location based services. Also MobileFirst customer service would provide common access numbers across member networks and preferential in-roamer service.

MobileFirst would leverage the advantage of all its member networks being 900Mhz, and share infrastructure, systems and solutions and integrate its CRM to realize operational efficiencies and deliver enhanced value to its subscribers.

Speaking on the alliance, FB Cardoso, President and CEO, BPL Mobile said, "The MobileFirst alliance will also enhance our cost advantage, strengthen the brand, ensure customer delight and sustain long-term competitive advantage." Added Rajan Swaroop, CEO, Escotel Mobile, "The MobileFirst alliance will be the biggest consumer of long distance minutes in the country. The alliance will also leverage its members’ tie ups with over 400 international networks to provide extended roaming reach".

Dilip R Mehta, Managing Director, RPG Cellular said, " We pride ourselves in the fact that MMS, prepaid roaming, mobile Internet and other cutting edge applications were first introduced in the country by alliance members. We will continue this spirit of innovation to deliver new generation technology and services to our customers".

Speaking on the occasion, Umang Das, MD-Corporate Affairs, Spice Communications, said, "The formation of this alliance will enable its members to offer products and services in line with their expectations thereby enhancing value".

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