labels: bharat sanchar nigam ltd, telecom
BSNL to slash tariff for calls to Gulf news
Our Corporate Bureau
20 April 2005

Kochi: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is planning to reduce ISD tariff for calls to the Gulf countries According to SA Thomas, chief general manager, BSNL''s Keral telecom circle, the BSNL corporate office was considering slashing the ISD tariff to the Gulf countries to discourage illegal exchanges in the sector. The tariff to the Gulf countries is about Rs 18 per minute at present.

Thomas told reporters on Tuesday that BSNL would focus on the development of broadband services in the coming years. It was planning to provide one lakh broadband connections during the year in the state as well as a high-speed internet service for the rural areas using WLL technology, besides 70,000 new internet connections.

BSNL, which has emerged as the major cellular mobile service provider in the state, would provide 14 lakh new mobile connections during the current year. The present mobile customer base was above eight lakh. Regarding complaints of congestion in BSNL mobile services, the CGM said that the problems with the network could be resolved by June with the completion of the ongoing expansion projects, which include setting up 1,217 additional cell sites.

Thomas also said that there was an increase in the number of basic phones being surrendered, which was due to the increasing demand for mobile phones as well as the emergence of private service providers in the sector.

He said that the Kerala circle was planning to provide 6.5 lakh new connections during the current year, of which two lakh would be on wire-line and the remaining on WLL. At present, 3.5 lakh applicants figure in the wait list for basic phone connections.

Automatic cheque collection machines would be installed in all districts for collecting telephone and mobile phone bills, he added. A new scheme for basic phone subscribers, Plan 240, with a monthly rent of Rs240 was being launched in urban areas from May 1. The scheme would allow 100 free calls per month and calls beyond 100 would be charged at Rs1.20 per pulse.

Two schemes for reactivating pre-paid mobile SIM cards within a period of 180 days from the date of closure of connection will also be introduced. For delays up to three months, the SIM would be recharged through a Rs2,204 coupon and Rs3,306 for delays between three and six months with an activation charge of Rs220. The schemes will be valid for two months from May 1, this year.

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BSNL to slash tariff for calls to Gulf