With the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India removing termination charges for calls from landlines, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has announced that its landline users can make unlimited calls to any network in India from 9 pm till 7 am.
This is, by far, the cheapest such scheme available in India. Usually, companies charge around Rs 300 per month for unlimited night calling — that too to other subscribers on their networks only.
However, BSNL is able to offer the new scheme because it will not have to pay any fees or charges to other operators to compensate them for calls by BSNL landline subscribers destined for subscribers on their networks.
The facility — applicable to all tariff schemes of BSNL land lines across India from May 1– is aimed at luring people away from surrendering their landlines.
With mobile phones becoming popular and cheap, many users no longer want land lines, which come with monthly rentals of Rs 120-200. The unlimited calling is not applicable to BSNL mobile.
The scheme is applicable only for night calls. During the day, BSNL’s network is already busy with traffic, and is largely unutilized at night.
BSNL continues to be the largest operator of landline phones in India. It is also India’s biggest DSL broadband operator. However, due to the widespread switch over from landlines to mobile, the company has been making huge losses.
A landline connection costs far more than a wireless connection to maintain. As a result, even if the phone is only required for receiving incoming calls, BSNL is forced to charge a monthly rental, while such a facility is free for mobile users.
The monthly rental has been the biggest reason for surrender of telephones across India.