M A I N   N E W S

BSNL to slash STD rates from Nov 1
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 12
As a Divali bonanza, the country’s leading telecom operator, the BSNL, today slashed the STD rates by 58 per cent, enabling 1.16 crore customers to make calls across the country for Re 1 per minute with rentals and other benefits.

The BSNL has brought all its subscribers, paying a monthly rental of Rs 180 or more, under the ambit of one-India tariff plan, through which they will be able to make local call at the rate of Re 1 for three minutes and STD call at Re 1 per minute.

The new tariffs will come into effect from November 1, BSNL CMD A. K. Sinha told reporters. “We hope this tariff plan will arrest the tendency to surrender the fixed line phones,” he said.

Over the last few years, national long distance call rates have been falling consistently. From a peak of Rs 30 per minute in 2001 to a little over a rupee per minute now- a fall of over 96 per cent, that too in a short span.

The BSNL has also doubled free calls to 50 a month from 25. As per BSNL's existing one-India tariff plan, subscribers were paying a monthly rental of Rs 225, which has now been reduced to Rs 180.

The intra-circle (within state) STD call rate has been made 16 per cent cheaper by reducing the rate to Re 1 per minute from current Rs 1.20 per minute, he said while inter-circle (from one state to another) STD call rate will be about 58 per cent less with new rates.

The company also increased the local call PCO pulse duration to 60 second from the present 45 seconds for the call rate of Re 1 per minute.

The BSNL has about 3.5 crore fixed line subscribers, he said, adding that those who currently do not come under the Rs 180 rental plan but spend about Rs 300-400 per month on mobile, would also like to shift to the new one-India plan.

The BSNL has also tied-up with Nokia and Motorola to provide handsets to its customers under the prepaid Excel connection all over India in phases. The customer will get the talk value of Rs 150 per month for the next 24 months subject to validity, Mr Sinha said.

On the purchase of select handset of Nokia from Rs 1,999 onwards, the customer would get free talk time worth Rs 3,600 during the next two years.

In the first phase, the BSNL will offer four models of Nokia and three models of Motorola, including MotoRazr.

The BSNL said the equipment of qualified bidders, Ericsson and Nokia, for its 3G mobile services, would reach the customers by March next year.

“The first line of the tender will start by March next year”, BSNL Director (Finance) S. D. Saxena said here.

About the bids where Ericsson bagged 60 per cent of the 3G GSM contract and Nokia the rest 40 per cent, Mr Saxena said the bidding was done in a transparent way and in accordance with the guidelines of the tender committee formed for this mega project.

The BSNL is setting up 30 million GSM lines, while the other operators will add another 45-50 million lines over the next two-three years.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |