Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Two major cellular service providers have come out with new schemes for prepaid subscribers.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited Chennai Telephones virtually re-launched its prepaid offering with the introduction of Excel Sumo Plus that does not require recharging for a year.

The new card comes with 100 free SMSs along with the starter pack. Priced at Rs. 249, the card has a talk value of Rs. 30 with a one-year validity. After exhausting talk value, customers must use top-up cards for making outgoing calls. Calls to any mobile or fixed line within Chennai and Tamil Nadu are charged at 99 paise per minute while calls to any two BSNL numbers (one landline compulsory) will be 50 paise per minute.

`Happy Recharge'

Airtel, meanwhile, has launched what it claims to be India's first `0' processing fee prepaid card.

Airtel `Happy Recharge' will enable the prepaid subscribers to get the benefit of full talk time without having to pay any processing fee.

Mahesh Thampi, COO (Mobile services), Tamil Nadu, Bharti Airtel, termed the scheme a strategic initiative targeted at the ever-growing prepaid segment.

The card comes in Rs. 249, Rs. 398 and Rs. 499 packs and carries a simplified tariff plan (one local rate and one STD rate).