‘BSNL will match Reliance Jio tariff-by-tariff’

By : |September 7, 2016 0

When Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani unveiled his dream plan Reliance Jio, little did we know that telecom sector won’t be same again. The good news is that the Jio effect which was evident even before the official release (big telecom operators like Idea, Airtel, Vodafone slashing tariffs) will only benefit consumers in the end with other telcos following suit.

While many others are engaged in critical analysis of Jio’s plans, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. on Tuesday termed Reliance Jio’s entry into the market as a “challenge” for all operators, but said it expects to match the intense competition “tariff-by-tariff”. Competition indeed makes market healthier!

Speaking to PTI, BSNL Chairman, and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said that the telecom PSU will adopt an aggressive stance on tariffs going forward. State operator which unveiled a promotional unlimited wireline broadband plan that effectively translates into less than Re. 1 per GB download cost for very high usage subscribers, a day after Reliance Jio made public its 4G plans – believes it is in a position to match Reliance Jio’s tariffs successfully.

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“It is a question of survival in the market… there is no other way but to match Jio, tariff by tariff. If tariff of Jio is aggressive, the tariff of BSNL and of all other operators is also going to be aggressive,” Shrivastava said.

“As far as challenge is concerned, we cannot wish it away… I believe, BSNL is in a position to match Reliance Jio’s tariffs most successfully, because we are an incumbent operator. We are landline and optical fiber operator so our broadband tariff rides on our own network… We don’t have to start procuring, investing and then come out with offerings,” he further added.

BSNL offers unlimited night calling on any network in the country between 9 pm to 7 am as complimentary service for all its landline customers. Last month, it announced that its landline subscribers will be able to make free unlimited calls to any mobile or landline number in the country on Sundays.

The company has also announced a national unlimited 3G mobile data plan for Rs. 1,099 and doubled the data usage limit in some existing plans, to counter competition in the market.

For free voice calling, Shrivastava said, “We will think about it… in the next 2-3 months, we will see the impact of what is happening in the market. We could consider giving voice free, from our network but after charging some fixed monthly rate… Fixed-mobile convergence may be the basis of free voice calls.”

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