Following a few days after BSNL offered free night time calling, Bharti Airtel has announced that its broadband customers will be able to make free voice calls to any network. The telco has launched two voice calling packs priced at Rs 49 per month and unlimited free STD+local calls at Rs 99 per month to any network, anywhere in the country to both landlines and mobile phones.
Airtel provides fixed-line telephone and broadband services for homes and businesses in 87 cities across India.
Earlier in February, Airtel launched a pilot bundling its postpaid mobile connection with its broadband services in Hyderabad and is awaiting results of the pilot, Gopal Vittal, Joint MD and CEO (India &SA), Bharti Airtel had said in a conference call. Vittal was also talking about a bundling package (mobile, DTH and telemedia) which could mean seamless connectivity between entertainment devices and internet services over smart mobile phones. The move certainly points that the company is looking to increase its voice revenues by increasing its subscriber base, but it remains to be seen if other players will be looking to offer similar deals to increase their voice revenues.
In a recent study (pdf) by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the wireline subscriber base declined from 26.87 million at the end of January 2015 to 26.72 million at the end of February 2015. The Net reduction in the wireline subscriber base was 0.15 million at the monthly decline rate of 0.54%. The study also showed that Airtel emerged as the top gainer in fixed-line business while state-owned BSNL was ranked as top loser of fixed-line customers in the month of February.
The top five Wired Broadband Service providers were BSNL (9.98 million), Bharti Airtel (1.43 million), MTNL (1.14 million), Atria Convergence Technologies (0.65 million) and YOU Broadband (0.44 million). The number of broadband subscribers increased from 94.49 million at the end of January 2015 to 97.37 million at the end of February 2015 with monthly growth rate of 3.05%.