BSNL gives strong counter to Reliance Jio, offers 10GB data a day for Rs 249
Reliance Jio announced the extension of its free services from April 1. To counter this new offer by Reliance Jio, BSNL has launched an impressive scheme which provides 10 GB of data per day and is by far the maximum offered by any major telecom company in India. This new offer can be availed at a price of just Rs 249. However, the plan does not entail free calling at all times. Unlike Jio, BSNL free voice calling will only be available after 9pm at night till 7am in the morning. This time boundation won't be applicable on Sundays. Apart from that, the speed offered by BSNL won't be able to compete with Reliance Jio and other major 4G network providers. The data speed for this plan will be limited to 2Mbps. There is no confirmation regarding the drop in speeds after the daily limit is reached. With 10GB per day, this can easily be one of the cheapest data plans any major telecom company has to offer at the moment. Reliance Jio has also offered a new Summer Surprise. In accordance to the new offer, users will get 3 months of data service at the cost of one. The free services on Jio will remain available till the end of this month. Other major operators are also gearing up for this extended tariffwar. Cellular operators' body COAI has said Reliance Jio's latest pricing will continue to bleed the industry
and there is a risk of cascading impact on banks and others that have large exposure to the telecom sector.
BSNL to ramp up mobile coverage in Assam's international border areas: Manoj Sinha
State-run telecom operator Bharat Sachar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will ramp up mobile coverage in international border areas of Assam, communication minister Manoj Sinha has said. BSNL will install satellitebased base transceiver station (BTS) in the insurgency infested hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao, Sinha said here on Sunday after reviewing the working of BSNL Northeast India. "There is also a proposal going on for border areas of Assam, which will be reviewed and decision will be taken shortly," he said. BSNL has submitted a proposal for setting up 2,000 mobile towers, out of which at least 920 towers will come up in insurgency infested and disturbed areas, and around 108 mobile towers are proposed to be installed along Indo-Bhutan and Indo-Bangladesh borders. The project is expected to cost around.`2,000 crore. "Across the country, we have installed around 2 lakh BTS towers in the last one year. We will ensure that the border areas of Northeast India have mobile coverage," Sinha said. "BSNL has witnessed a turnaround. We now have more money to spend. We will take up project submitted by Assam circle, for now we have money to spend," he said. BSNL is installing Next generation network (NGN) telephone exchange in Assam. The state reported 28% increase in the data download in last one month.
Now BSNL offers 2GB data per day, unlimited calling for Rs 339
To counter threat from Reliance Jio, state-run telecom firm BSNL launched a new plan that offers 2 GB of 3G data per day and unlimited calling within its network for Rs 339. “The benefits customer will get under the Combo STV (special tariff voucher) of Rs 339 are unlimited calls in BSNL network and unlimited data with fair use policy of 2 GB per day with validity of 28 days,” BSNL said in a statement. The offer is limited for 90 days. Reliance Jio is offering 1GB of 4G data and unlimited calling to all network for free till March 31. From April 1 onward, Reliance Jio customers opting for Jio Prime service will get unlimited data and calls till March 31, 2018, for one time registration fee of Rs 99 and Rs 303 per month. BSNL said that the data of 2 GB per day is one of the best in the industry. “We are committed to providing affordable and efficient services to all segment of our loyal mobile customers. We offer best prices to our customers considering present trend of Indian telecom industry,” BSNL Director for Consumer Mobility RK Mittal said. BSNL customers under the new scheme will also get 25 minutes of free call to other network everyday and after that they will be charged 25 paisa for minute long phone call. The development comes on the heels of announcement of Reliance Jio’s Prime membership programme. Jio’s
data tariffs remain the cheapest in the country in both prepaid and postpaid categories. Rival Airtel, on the other hand, is giving away 30GB free data for three months to its postpaid customers, which can be availed before March 31.
BSNL, MTNL merger plan back on discussion table
After a hiatus of few years, the proposal to merge BSNL and MTNL is back on the discussion table with top officials at the telecom department once again 'brainstorming' on various options before the two loss-making, state-owned entities. According to a highly-placed source in the Department of Telecom, a top-level meeting recently discussed possibility of merging both the entities that are facing financial stress due to increasing competition in the sector. Another official said that in the first phase, BSNL is keen on picking up mobile operations of MTNL in Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad, where it is already offering landline and broadband services. The other option could be the acquisition of MTNL's mobile operations in Delhi and Mumbai - the two metros it operates in. BSNL, on the other hand, operates in rest of India. The meeting, head by the then Telecom Secretary JS Deepak, was held 2-3 weeks ago and idea is gaining ground once again. The idea of merging the two firms was first mooted years ago by the then telecom minister Pramod Majahan and has been deliberated upon a few times since then. Officials said however that the talks on the merger have been revived at the instance of senior officials in the government. On the hurdles to the move, sources said, staffing and salary related issues pose a big challenge. Besides, they said, MTNL is debtladen and while the move will be a positive for it, BSNL will have to bear the brunt. MTNL has been reeling under "serious" debt problem and is borrowing money to meet its day-today requirements. In written reply to the Rajya Sabha in November last year, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha had said: "In case of MTNL, it has been going slow in up gradation of equipment during the last 4-5 years due to severe financial problems. MTNL is under serious debt burden and is borrowing money to meet its day to day requirements." MTNL's standalone net loss has widened to Rs 819.96 crore, surpassing its total revenue, during the three-month period ended December 31, hit primarily by finance cost. The net loss surpassed its total income of Rs 690.59 crore. The total debt of MTNL reached Rs 19,418.23 crore at the end of December 31, 2016, from Rs 11,542.3 crore in 2012-13, according to official data. In 2015-16, MTNL reported total annual revenue of Rs 3,197.41 crore and net loss of Rs 2,005.72 crore. The losses of BSNL have narrowed however to Rs 4,890 crore for the nine month period of the current fiscal, from Rs 6,121 crore in the year-ago period. It posted 5.8 per cent increase in income from services at Rs 19,379.6 crore during the period under review. As per telecom regulator Trai, as of December 31, BSNL and MTNL had a market share of about 9 per cent of the total wireless subscriber base of 1.12 billion.
Manoj Sinha, Minister of Communication (Independent Charge)
BSNL Director for Consumer Mobility R. K. Mittal
Telecom Secretary J. S. Deepak