Country’s biggest landline operator looks to boost its revenue stream
GN Bureau | April 23, 2015
Ironically, after two-days of strike by its staff, state-run telecom operator BSNL announced unlimited free calling scheme during night hours from May 1. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) operates all over India except in Mumbai and Delhi.
The scheme would be operational between 9 PM to 7 AM and would cover all type of connections from BSNL fixed line phones to any operator including mobile phones anywhere in the country.
The incentive is to boost landline business even though the BSNL dominates the market with 62.26% share. The company had over 1.66 crore landlines at the end of February.
"BSNL has introduced unlimited free calling during night hours from its landline phones to all landline phones and mobile phones of all service provider's network on all India basis from 1st May," BSNL said.
Under the scheme, all major landline general plans of rural and urban areas, landline special plans as well as all major combo (landline with broadband) plans are covered.
Meanwhile, BSNL employees went on strike on April 21 and 22 in protest against moves by the Central government to privatise the BSNL and demands for the revival of the company.
The BSNL was the No.1 telecom company in India and with an annual revenue of about Rs.40,000 crore and profit of about Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 crore till 2006.
Thenon-implementation of the government assurances on financial viability, continued cancellation of the BSNL tenders of mobile equipment, confiscation of the cash balance of the company by the government on one pretext or other, discriminating BSNL in favour of private companies have pushed BSNL in to loss for the last five years.
The government has withdrawn from its assurance to pay ADC, refund of licence fee and liberal subsidy from the USO fund, for compensating BSNL for the loss of about Rs.10,000 crore per year for providing services to the villages and rural areas in the country.
The Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations has suggested various proposals for providing better service to the customers on which also no action is taken.
The Forum also demands that BSNL should start 4G services without any delay. It also has demanded that it should be made mandatory for the Central/State Governments and PSUs to take BSNL service as was done in the case of Air India.
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