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BSNL bonanza for landline users
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 30
Amidst talks of merger of BSNL and MTNL, the largest PSU telecom operator, BSNL today unveiled its New Year bonanza of cutting the fixed line rental by 28 per cent to Rs 180 per month.

The cut in rental move, which is primarily aimed to curb the surrender of landline phone in lieu of mobile, would result in a revenue loss of Rs 600 crore annually to BSNL.

BSNL CMD A.K. Sinha told reporters that the maximum fixed line rental has been fixed at Rs 180 compared to the existing Rs 250 for urban areas and Rs 210 in rural areas. Under the revised plan, BSNL has retained free calls at 50 and tariff at Rs 1.20 for a three-minute call, Mr Sinha told reporters.

This may help the corporation retain its subscribers. BSNL lost over 4.5 lakh fixed line subscribers in 2004-05 and up to November this year over 20 lakh subscribers surrendered their phones.

In the mobile segment, BSNL joined the band of cellular operators offering lifetime validity on prepaid cards by launching a scheme for Rs 949 with a pre-loaded talk time of Rs 99.

For pre-paid subscribers, BSNL has fixed local call rates at Rs 1.60 a minute for calls between BSNL to BSNL network and Rs 2 a minute for call to other networks.

STD call would cost Rs 2.40 for calls to BSNL network and Rs 2.99 to other operators’ network, Mr Sinha said.

BSNL claimed its call charges in pre-paid lifetime card were 20 per cent lower for local and STD compared to its competitors and said this scheme was beneficial only for those who use mobile phone very sparingly.

Hutch today announced the launch of its prepaid subscribers - ‘2006 Recharge’ prepaid offer.

With the new ‘2006 Recharge’ prepaid offer, Hutch prepaid users in Delhi get full talktime (after deducting the tax) and validity for an entire year by making a one-time payment of Rs 2006.

Sanjoy Mukerji, Operations Director, Hutchison Essar, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, said, “‘2006 Recharge’ will give Hutch prepaid subscribers a two-fold benefit ...firstly they do not have to recharge every month for validity, they will no longer need to worry about losing validity or expiration of their prepaid connection for an entire year. Secondly subscribers will get full talktime on this recharge as well. This is a one-time fill it, shut it and forget it prepaid offer for 2006.”

Earlier, other private operators like Bharti, Hutch, Reliance Infocomm, Idea, Tata and MTNL had launched their lifetime validity on pre-paid cards at different price points.


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