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BSNL On 3G: 10% Active Data Usage; Data Surpasses CRBT; Challenges; Access Codes; Video

Telecom operator BSNL has more than 2.5 million 3G subscribers, NK Yadav, Head of Value Added Services for BSNL, said at the VAS India conference in Mumbai last week. "Last year, we got 1 million customers, but mostly in northern circles. At present we have more than 2.5 million 3G customrs in 650 cities, with almost all circles covered, but this is hardly 3% of the total wireless base of 90 million (BSNL subscribers). Monthly additions are hitting 8% in 3G connections." Data Surpasses Caller Tunes For BSNL Most of BSNL's 3G value added services are through BSNL live, and according to Yadav, Data has become the main revenue earner for BSNL in Non-SMS VAS, surpassing Caller Tunes for BSNL. Yadav said that the data usage on BSNL networks has increased six-fold, but didn't mention whether this was by virtue of USB data card usage, or through mobile handsets. Also note that later that day, an industry exec suggested to us that BSNL was among the last to launch caller tunes, and they didn't have much of a subscriber base anyway. 2G and 3G ARPUs Comparable "The addition in the postpaid customers has increased. We're concerned about 3G ARPUs. Because of the tariff wars, if you see the the 2G and 3G VAS revenues, surprisingly, it is not as expected. Normally, the 3G ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) is expected to be higher (than 2G). We find them comparable." Yadav added that for BSNL, ARPU is Rs. 90 for prepaid…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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