Reliance Jio effect: BSNL to launch free unlimited mobile calls plan at Rs 149
Mobile phone subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will soon be able to make unlimited local and national voice calls to any network for Rs 149 a month. The new monthly tariff plan, expected to be introduced on January 1, will help the state-run telecom service provider compete with Reliance Industries’ telecom arm Reliance Jio Infocomm, whose entry is seen causing disruption in the country’s telecom sector. Mumbai-based Jio’s Rs 149 plan includes unlimited voice calls, 300 MB data and 100 local and national SMS for a 28-day period. “We are working on a plan to allow unlimited voice calls to mobile subscribers at any network across India at Rs 149 a month,” BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava told ET, adding that the plan would also include 300 MB of data. On September 5, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio unveiled free voice calls and free data under its ‘Welcome Offer’ for the first three months. The company has now extended the offer till March 31, 2017. While other private telcos too have started offering unlimited voice calling, these are part of higher-valued plans. With the new plan BSNL will be second only to Reliance Jio in offering unlimited voice calling in low-value packs.
“Jio has come up with disruptive strategy and we are ready to match whatever tariff is being offered by our competitors,” Shrivastava said. BSNL is also building up capacity to accommodate voice traffic by making use of its underutilised fibre-based broadband network, which consists of nearly 7-lakh route kilometres of fibre across the country. Its existing broadband network serves merely 12 million customers. By offering unlimited voice calls at Rs 149 a month over its existing broadband network, the telco, according to Shrivastava, will also aim to reduce interconnection usage charge (IUC) impact. BSNL’s average revenue per user (ARPU) is Rs 88 per month. Shrivastava said BSNL’s strategy is aimed at not only retaining existing customers but also enhancing subscriber base in the wake of Jio’s tactical pricing, and competitive tariffs by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. Close on the heels of Jio’s commercial rollout, BSNL had, in September, launched an entry-level, unlimited broadband plan for Rs 249 and Rs 1,099 3G data plan without any daily data cap, and doubled the data limit in all existing tariff plans. In 2015-16, BSNL posted a nearly six-fold jump in year-on-year operating profit at Rs 3,855 crore, and also narrowed its net loss to Rs 3,879 crore from Rs 8,234 crore in 2014-15, with a 15% increase in total income (including revenue from operations and interest on refund of spectrum) to Rs 32,918 crore.
BSNL offers unlimited 3G data with no FUP for Rs 498 to all customers
State-run telecom operator BSNL has launched an unlimited 3G data plan for all the BSNL prepaid users in India. The new plan, ‘STV 498’, offers unlimited 3G data with no data limit, and comes with 14 days validity, according to various media reports. Report said that the new offer will be available as a promotional offer till January 7, 2017. Both the existing users and new users of BSNL are eligible for this offer, according to BSNL's R K Mittal - Director(Consumer Mobility). The telecom operator has now offering more data with at least four internet plans. It is offering 18 GB data instead of 9 GB with Rs 1498 plan, similarly Rs 2799 plan offer 36 GB data usage instead of 18 GB. The Rs 3998 plan now offer 60 GB data usage now instead of 30 GB data, while the Rs 4498 plan now offers 80 GB data usage, up from 40 GB data usage.
BSNL adds most users in Aug, mobile base declines to 1.02 billion
State run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) recorded the highest number of wireless user additions in August, ahead of market leader Bharti Airtel, while Reliance Communications lost 18 million users as it moved users to LTE from CDMA network. According to data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), total wireless subscriber base declined 0.52% to 1,028.88 million at the end of August, from 1,034.23 million in July, as user base in urban and rural areas declined by 0.63% to 585.89 million and by 0.37% to 442.99 million, respectively, in August compared to July. About 1.84 million new users were added to BSNL’s network, taking the total to over 92 million, making it the fourth largest telco after Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, as per August data from Trai. Bharti Airtel is No 1 player in India with market share of 25.03% by user base, followed by Vodafone at 19.46% and Idea at 17.19%. BSNL had 8.98% share of the market, the dominant one among PSUs – MTNL has only 0.35% share among a billion phone users. It was the lowest for Anil Ambani led Reliance Communications since its migration from CDMA to LTE due to which its subscriber base reduced by 18 million during the month of August 2016. Delhi/NCR region recorded the highest tele-density of 225.49 whereas the lowest was recorded in Bihar at 54.72. However, Delhi showed maximum decline in wireless subscribers while Orissa recorded highest growth rate. In northern and western India, the highest requests for mobile number portability has been received in Rajasthan followed by Gujarat. In southern and eastern India, the highest requests for MNP has been received in Karnataka followed by Andhra Pradesh. Wireline subscriber base declined from 24.62 million from the end of July 2016 to 24.51 million by the end of August 2016. BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, held 70.94% of the market share. Bharti Airtel saw the highest additions in the subscriptions in the wireline market share. Net decline in the wireline subscriber base was 0.11 million with a monthly decline rate of 0.44%. The shares of urban and rural subscribers in total wireline subscribers were 83.91% and 16.09% respectively at the end of August 16. The number of broadband subscribers increased from 166.96 million at the end of July 2016 to 171.71 million at the end of August 2016 with a monthly growth rate of 2.84%. Bharti Airtel leads among the wireless broadband service providers with 43.44 million subscribers followed by Vodafone and Idea Cellular. BSNL holds the highest market share in the wired broadband service provider base with 9.84 million susbcribers. However, overall wired and wireless broadband service share at the end of August highest for Bharti Airtel at 26.41% followed by Vodafone and Idea. The number of telephone subscribers in India declined from 1,058.85 million at the end of July 2016 to 1,053.40 million in August, a monthly decline rate of 0.52%. The wireless tele-density in India declined from 81.11 at the end of July 2016 to 80.62 at the end of August 2016. The share of urban and rural wireless subscribers in total number of wireless subscribers was 56.94% and 43.06% respectively at the end of August 2016.