Tuesday 18 June 2024

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Infrastructure | InfoTech

BSNL launches cheapest mobile service


The Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Limited has clarified that no illegality of any sorts is being committed while offering cheapest ever tariff for the countrywide cellular service that is being launched from 21 October onwards.

Following Lucknow and Maharashtra, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar launched the cellular service for the tourist state here today evening. It is being made available while tourist season has just begun this month.

Addressing a press conference on the occasion, BSNL Goa general manager N Chenchaiah said that the tariff plans announced for its cellular service are approved by the Telephone Regulatory Authority.

The existing private mobile operators are irked with the plans announced by the BSNL as the country's dominant player in the fixed telephone line network is offering free incoming calls made from the BSNL landlines, while charging only Rs 325 as the monthly rental.

Contrary to this, the existing private players offer the free incoming facility only for the calls made from their respective mobile phones or free incoming and even outgoing free facility by charging monthly rental of not less than Rs 1700.

In addition, the BSNL also offers no airtime charges for any STD call made through their long distance network. Both these facilities are however charged for the calls made through other landline telephone networks.

Though BSNL holds over 90 per cent market share in the fixed line market today, Chenchaiah says the provision has been made as private operators in the fixed telephone market are slowly entering the telecommunications arena.

The cellular market in Goa, along with Maharashtra (except Mumbai) was operational through the services provided by the Idea Cellular and the BPL. Following the BSNL, Bharati Telecommunication's Airtel is also now entering as the fourth player.

But rather than lowering their tariff immediately to compete with the BSNL, all the private operators have decided to adopt wait and watch policy. They are also planning to approach the TRAI and later, if required, the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal against the BSNL's tariff plans.

To counter the hope of the private operators that the BSNL will provide 'bad' customer service, the Goa Telecom here has already hired a privately operated call service centre, besides deputing young staff at the customer service centres at all the places.

"We will provide the best possible customer service, which is equally competent like the private cellular operators", claims Ravi Bhargav, the deputy general manager managing the cellular service in the tourist state.

Unlike other private operators in the state, the BSNL has also announced that it will cover 90 per cent of the state, leaving only the remote forest areas in the hilly region. Besides major cities, coastal villages and the national and state highways, the BSNL otherwise plans to cover even other rural parts by November end.

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