Telecom Services Slash Call Rates To Quake-Hit Nepal

27/04/2015 7:51 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
PRAKASH SINGH via Getty Images
A Nepalese resident talks on the phone as his relative Megh Nath (2R), is treated for injuries sustained in an earthquake at a city hospital in Kathmandu on April 26, 2015. International aid groups and governments intensified efforts to get rescuers and supplies into earthquake-hit Nepal on April 26, 2015, but severed communications and landslides in the Himalayan nation posed formidable challenges to the relief effort. As the death toll surpassed 2,000, the US together with several European and Asian nations sent emergency crews to reinforce those scrambling to find survivors in the devastated capital Kathmandu and in rural areas cut off by blocked roads and patchy phone networks. AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — Telecom operators MTS India and Tata Teleservices today said they have slashed charges for calls made to earthquake-hit Nepal to support disaster relief efforts.

State-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL, and private companies like Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular have already announced reduction in charges or made free calls to Nepal, where over 2,000 people were killed after a devastating earthquake on Saturday.

"Starting 11 pm, 25th April , MTS India is treating all calls made from its network to Nepal as local calls i.e Rs1/minute. This is being done for the next 48 hours to support disaster relief efforts and to enable concerned callers to reach out to their friends and family," MTS India said in a statement.

In a statement, Tata Teleservices Ltd said, "... to support disaster relief measures, charges for all calls to Nepal on the Tata Docomo network are reduced to 1p/s between 26th to 28th April."

Normal call rates to Nepal from India varies in the range of Rs 7 to 12 per minute.

Besides, instant messaging app Viber said it has "switched off 'Viber Out' billing so users in Nepal can make free calls to mobile and land line numbers anywhere for the next 48 hours".

Airtel has announced free calls to Nepal on its network, state-run BSNL and MTNL decided to charge local rates for calls made to the Himalayan nation.

Private player Idea Cellular has also announced that it would charge calls made to Nepal from its network equal as per local call rates up to morning hours of April 28.

Vodafone said all calls made from its network from anywhere in India to Nepal will be charged as per local rate.

This move will enable people to reach out to their friends and family members in the earthquake-hit areas in Nepal, the company said in a statement.

Vodafone is facilitating all calls made to Nepal at just Re 1 per minute against the regular call rate of Rs 12 per minute with immediate effect up to April 28.

Besides, Aircel is also offering free calls to Nepal for all its customers for the next two days.

"The offer has been extended to all prepaid and postpaid customers of Aircel," the company said.

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