New Delhi: Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) has slashed peak-time STD rate by over 60 per cent effective 14 January 2002. The move is considered as the governments effort to compete with private national long-distance operators.
BSNLs tariffs will be applicable for both fixed line and mobile subscribers. It is expected to benefit more than 4 crore telecom services users, which include 50 lakh cellular phone subscribers. Thus, a Delhi-Mumbai call will be reduced to Rs 9 per minute from the present Rs 24 per minute during peak hours. However, the reduced tariffs will result in a revenue loss of Rs 3,000 crore for BSNL in the first six months.
As per the new tariffs, peak time rates for distances above 500 km will be a mere Rs 9 per minute as against the present Rs 24 per minute for above 1,000 km. BSNL has also scrapped the distance slab of 500-1,000 km for which the STD rate is presently Rs 17.56 per minute. Instead, it has introduced a common rate of 9 per minute for calls above 500 km during the peak time of 9 am to 8 pm.
The slashing of STD rates by the public sector telecom giant was prompted by the entry of Bharti Telesonic as Indias first private NLD operator, putting an end to BSNLs monopoly over the business.
Union Communications Minister Pramod Mahajan said for distances of 50-200 kms, the new rate will be Rs 2.40 per minute during the peak time as against Rs 4.80. For calls in the 200-500 km slab, the new rate is Rs 4.80 per minute against the current rate of Rs 11.60 per minute.