Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 1:
With an aim to strengthen its hold in landline customers’ base, the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) plans to increase the fixed-line subscribers in Odisha with the introduction of unlimited free night calling beginning today.
“There are 3, 06, 678 BSNL landline subscribers in the state. We are aiming to register 25 percent increase in subscribers’ base by the end of this year,” Odisha Telecom Circle, CGMT, B Mishra said.
The telecom provider will introduce unlimited free calling at night from its landline phones to all landline and mobile phones of all service providers across India from May 1.
With this, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd intends to promote landline usage.
“This unlimited free night calling shall be available from 9 PM to 7 AM for its landline and broadband customers in rural and urban areas. Detailed information is available in its website www.orissa.bsnl.co.in,” Mishra said.
The scheme covers all major landline general plans of rural and urban areas, landline special plans and all major combo (landline and broadband) plans.
In Odisha, landline connections account for 20 percent revenue of BSNL. It owns 85 percent of the market share of fixed network subscribers in India.
Notably, BSNL has 1079 telephone exchange in Odisha of which 266 are in urban areas and remaining 813 are in rural areas.
In its broadband category, the company has the capacity to provide 1.53 lakh connections in urban areas whereas it has 1.14 lakh subscribers in these areas. Similarly, in the rural areas it has the capacity to provide 60000 connections whereas it has provided internet connectivity to only 25000 customers, BSNL officials said.
It may be mentioned that over 1 lakh customers switched to the state-run telecom provider last year after the introduction of mobile number portability was introduced in Odisha. On the other hand, around 80, 000 mobile subscribers ported to private subscribers during that time.
BSNL’s unlimited free night calling move comes after TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) abolished termination charges for calls made from Landline phones. The regulatory body introduced this to revive diminishing landline service in the country.
According to latest data from the TRAI, BSNL, which dominates the landline market, was the biggest loser of fixed-line customers in February while Airtel emerged as top gainer.
The company had over 1.66 crore landlines at the end of February. Even after losing 162,556 landline customers in February, the company dominated the market with 62.26 per cent