mobile phone

State run telecom operator BSNL has reduced mobile calling rates by up to 80% for the first two months for new users, reports TOI. The reduced calling rates are effective for both per minute and per second billing plans, for which new users will need to buy vouchers of Rs 37 and Rs 36 respectively. Users who have ported their numbers to other telecom operators can also use these vouchers.

Users who buy the Rs 37 voucher will be charged Rs 0.10 per minute for BSNL to BSNL local and national calls, and Rs 0.30 per minute for other networks. For the Rs 36 voucher, users can make calls at 1 paisa for 3 seconds on local and national calls within the BSNL network and 2 paise for 3 seconds on other networks.

According to the report, BSNL has started monitoring complaints on social media to provide resolutions to its customers and roped in Aegis BPO for customer service. In September, BSNL had around 80 million mobile connections in India, out of which 70% were active. In the same month, overall total mobile connections in the country stood at over 996 million.

BSNL’s past developments:
While BSNL readies itself to acquire more subscribers, other competitors have been ramping up their 4G initiatives and coverage (here, here and here). The company has been trying various means and methods to get subscribers:

– In October it said it would launch a mobile and landline integrated platform by November, which would let consumers get mobile value added services and make free night calls from mobile phones if they had a landline among other undisclosed services. The service would also let users receive landline calls on mobile phones.

– In June, BSNL implemented free roaming for all its subscribers on mobile phones. 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.

– 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.

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.

Also read:

MTNL and BSNL to merge in December – The Pioneer

BSNL ups broadband speed to 2 mbps; anything less than 16 mbps is not broadband

BSNL announces free nightly calls. Cool story bro. Can we fix the sorry broadband service too?

Our BSNL coverage here.