State run telco and internet provider BSNL is in the process of rolling out a mobile and landline integrated platform by next month, which will let consumers get mobile value added services and make free night calls from mobile phones if they have a landline among other undisclosed services, reports PTI. According to the report, the service will also let users receive landline calls on mobile phones.
BSNL has been struggling with the decline in landline usage for a while now. Anupam Shrivastava, BSNL Chairman & MD told PTI that it had been able to “arrest decline rate in landline connections” and the convergence platform should also be able to help in regaining customers. He mentioned that the company’s free roaming scheme has been one of the major reasons for increase in mobile subscribers.
PTI adds that BSNL has invested over Rs 400 crore ($61.6 million) in order to modernise its landlines. It is likely that BSNL and its metro-only sister company MTNL will merge in December this year, to function as a single new entity from the next financial year, as indicated by this Pioneer report.
Landline revival plans: free unlimited calling
In April, BSNL started offering free unlimited calling from landlines to anywhere in India (landlines and mobiles). The unlimited calling scheme would work during 9pm and 7am and be applicable for 6 months to check for response to be reviewed post response.
Free roaming for BSNL users
In June, BSNL implemented free roaming for all its subscribers on mobile phones. It also had plans to implement full mobile number portability (MNP) from July. After proposing a slash in roaming call and SMS charges in March, the TRAI reduced the ceiling tariffs for national roaming calls and SMSes and had mandated telcos to offer a special roaming tariff plan to prepaid and postpaid subscribers in April, to come into effect from May. Following these instructions, BSNL had adopted the new roaming call charges.
BSNL’s towers to form a new company
In August, we reported that BSNL had got a nod from the union cabinet to hive off its tower assets to form a separate company. The towers company was valued at Rs 20,000 crore. BSNL would also need to pay the new company money to rent the towers. BSNL currently claims to have 75,000 towers, out of which around 65,000 will be moved to the new company.
BSNL has 77 million subscribers
According to the Indian telecom regulator TRAI, India added 9.58 million “active” mobile connections during the month of February 2015. In the same month, BSNL lost 2.55 million connections, taking its connection base to 77.59 million.
Airtel, others to share spectrum
In August, India’s largest telecom operator Airtel said that it was in preliminary talks with BSNL to share spectrum through intra circle roaming arrangements. Vodafone and Idea Cellular were also expected to make a deal with the state run telco.
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