BSNL has collaborated with Sai Infosystems India, an IT solutions provider to introduce voice and video features on its broadband service, reports The Hindu Business Line. This service will offer video telephony, HD quality audio calls and audio calls to International public switched telephone network (PSTN)/ mobile numbers. According to the report, the services will be initially rolled out in Ahmedabad and will be made available to other parts of Gujarat by the end of this month, followed by rollouts in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

Pricing:

At present the company is offering a promotional tariff which has been effective, 18th July 2011. Activation of this service includes a one time registration fee of Rs 100. The company charges a monthly fee of Rs 150 which includes  Rs 100 per month as a service charge including VPN charges and Rs 50 for providing users with a static IP. For domestic audio calls, the service is charged at 0.40 paise per minute, whereas for domestic video calls it charges Rs 2 per minute. BSNL is not the only telco to provide VoIP services in India: Tata Communications and MTNL also offer Internet Telephony. But we wonder why users will pay per minute when they have the option to video chat on IM’s like Gtalk, Skype and Google+ Huddle to name a few. For international, BSNL is only providing non video calls. Download the tariff card here.

The problem that VVOIP might face is that in India, where connection speeds are erratic, and there are latency issues, video telephony wouldn’t be consistent on broadband.

Meanwhile Aksh Optifibre, the company that provides services such as IPTV (iControl) and VoIP (Pigeon) ventures, which are franchisees for government owned telecom operators BSNL (20 cities in North India) and MTNL (Delhi and Mumbai) continues to report losses. Seems that VoIP in India is still a uphill task for the telecom operators.