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BSNL WLL phones for Rs 20
BS Bureaus in Kolkata/New Delhi |
July 04, 2003 12:18 IST
Within 48 hours of Reliance Infocomm slashing its limited mobility entry cost to Rs 501, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has announced a scheme under which a customer can get a free handset and pay only an insurance charge of Rs 20 a month.
While new customers will have to pay Rs 2,900 as security and registration fees, the existing 40 million BSNL fixed-line subscribers will be exempted. Customers, however, will have to guarantee subscription for at least one year.
BSNL's limited mobility customers now have to pay a security deposit of Rs 5,000 for a handset.
BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Prithipal Singh told reporters that the company would shortly introduce three other new plans.
Under the second scheme, a customer has to pay a monthly instalment of Rs 200 for 25 months for the handset. The third scheme will require payment of a refundable amount of Rs 5,000.
The new schemes would enable BSNL to achieve its target subscriber base, Singh explained, adding that the company had set a target of 1.5 million wireless-in-local-loop subscribers by the end of the year. This, however, included WLL fixed lines as well.
Singh said BSNL had not confined its plans to WLL subscribers. The public sector unit had set a target of 5 million global standard for mobile subscribers by the year-end and 10 million by 2004-05.
The cost per line was estimated at Rs 6,000-7,000. The present subscriber base is around 3.2 million. Singh said in a year's time the company would offer WLL and GSM services across the country.
BSNL now has capacity for 5 million GSM subscribers, and is in the process of adding capacity for 2 million. Singh said by the end of April 2004, the company would be able to accommodate 7 million subscribers.
He added that the company was expecting a 10 per cent growth in topline. Last year, revenues were around Rs 25,000 crore (Rs 250 billion).
Meanwhile, BSNL is also in talks with GSM handset vendors for a tie-up which would enable it to bundle packages. "We are discussing the form of the package," Singh said.
On the fixed line front, Singh said BSNL would shortly introduce SMS.The equipment has been installed. According to estimates, GSM subscribers in Kolkata were contributing around 250,000 SMS's per day, and BSNL was expecting around 4 million from across the country.