Well, Oman Mobile has decided to fight back Nawras by increasing my calling prices. They had a big press conference yesterday and have:
risen to the challenge of stiff competition posed by Nawras by making 13, or more, exciting, new offers, which are set to take the telecommunications market here by storm. Of the new services — some of them have already been in the news — at least 10 are totally new and are ready to bowl over the subscriber, top Oman Mobile officials said at a well-attended launch of these new offers at Grand Hyatt Hotel yesterday.More importantly:
Subscribers (post-paid) can also say goodbye to distance-based charging, because from now, they can call anywhere in the Sultanate from 35 baisas and the new pricing plan is cheaper and simpler, with the peak price offer being put at 45 baisas a minute and off-peak prices put at 35 baisas a minute.Sounds great, but the truth is for most of us this is a tariff increase, not a reduction.
It used to be that Oman Mobile calls were priced according to the distance between you and the person you're calling. Of course you can't really tell where the person you're calling is gonna be, but for the most part they're at home or in their office, somewhere about town and you never really worried. They were mostly within 20km of you which is cool since the tariff was:
Upto 20km 25 baisas per minute in daytime (6am to 8pm) and 12.5 baisas at night.
20 to 100km it jumps to 83.3 baisas per minute daytime and 41.7 at night
Over 100km 100 baisas per minute day and 50 baisas at night.
Now the new tarrif is a flat fee without regard to distance of 45 baisas per minute in the day time, and 35 baisas per minute at night. Pretty cool if you call people who are more than 20km away from you. But for the majority of us who call friends and family in the same town it means a steep increase of as much as 280%. Simpler maybe, but definitely not cheaper.
All my calls are within a 20km radius. Thus all my calls were at 25 baisas a minute in the day and 12.5 at night. Now my day time calls will cost me 180% more (almost double!!) and at night they'll be close to triple the cost. Companies will now have to increase the phone allowances for their staff, or otherwise workers will start paying from their own pockets for work related calls.
Meanwhile, Nawras' tariff is 39 baisas for the first 5 minutes every day and after that it becomes a flat 19 baisas per minute regardless of distance. If you talk more than 5 minutes all your calls get charged at 19 baisas, even those first five minutes of that day.
I guess Oman Mobile just gave me the reason to switch to Nawras.