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Go Mobile edges Vodafone in price war

By Kurt Sansone

Christmas is no truce for Malta’s mobile phone companies and with the recent tariff reductions announced within days of each other by the rival companies, the consumer is the net beneficiary.

Vodafone and Go Mobile have both announced their Christmas packages to lure new subscribers and along side the Christmas offers they have reduced their tariffs thus benefiting current customers.

The Malta Financial and Business Times compared the tariff plans announced by the competing companies. The analysis was carried out on a pre-paid non-contract subscriber (etalk and Ready to Go) who does 30 outgoing phone calls a month and sends an average of 75 SMS messages every month. The phone calls are divided equally into 15 peak and 15 off peak calls, each lasting two minutes.

The final workings show that on a monthly basis, Go Mobile’s rates work out at a cheaper price, saving almost Lm2.50 per month on Vodafone’s cheapest call time packet.

While Go Mobile launched one set of tariffs for their Ready to Go subscribers, Vodafone announced three different tariff plans for etalk subscribers.

Vodafone’s e-one tariff plan distinguishes between phone calls made to other mobiles and calls made to fixed lines. For the purpose of the analysis both peak and off peak calls were equally divided between mobile and fixed line calls.

The second tariff plan, e-two, does not distinguish between mobile or fixed line calls, however charges different rates according to whether the call was made at peak time or off peak. The third tariff plan, e-three just charges a flat rate for all calls irrespective of when they are made.

In addition to the three different plans, Vodafone allows its subscribers to select three numbers of their choice on which cheaper call time applies. This option was not included in the analysis undertaken by this newspaper.

Go Mobile subscribers do not have to juggle with different price structures. All Ready to Go subscribers are charged at a flat rate for all calls accept the first minute of calls made during peak time, which is charged at a higher price.

Apart from the new tariffs both companies have launched schemes to lure new subscribers into their fold. Mobile phone starter packs may well be this Christmas’ ideal gift because both companies are offering free connections. However, the confusion resulting from the different special packages has led the Malta Communications Authority to issue a news release explaining the approved packages.

Vodafone is offering new e-talk subscribers a connection and Lm5 talk time for the price of Lm5 for packages bought during the month of December.

Go Mobile is offering two packages. A Lm15 package, which includes a free connection and Lm15 worth of talk time and a Lm5 package that includes a free connection and Lm5 worth of talk time. The offer is valid if the starter pack is activated by not later than 15 January 2002.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt