With the launch of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio threatening to push BSNL into irretrievable losses, the state-owned telecom company has introduced a new landline plan with true unlimited internet and voice calls for Rs 1,199 across India.
The internet speed will be 2 Mbps download, while voice calling will be truly unlimited to all networks across India at all times.
The 2 Mbps unlimited offer translates to 650 GB per month at a cost of Rs 1,199, or Rs 1.84 per GB — the cheapest such offer in India.
This is the first unlimited call+data scheme launched by BSNL in its history and will be available from this Friday across the country.
THREAT OF EXTINCTION
BSNL’s landline internet services used to be among the most expensive till about three months ago, when the company started experimenting with new tariffs and offers to retain users.
With the launch of the country’s largest 4G service — Reliance Jio — BSNL fears that a large chunk of its customers could surrender their landline phones.
The state-owned company has already lost a lot of voice customers to mobile networks due to a steep difference in the rate that it charges for calls when compared with that charged by wireless operators.
While mobile companies offer rates as low as 25 paise per minute, BSNL landline tariff ranges from 80-120 paise per minute.
In addition, BSNL also charges monthly rental for its connection.
Under the new 2 Mbps truly unlimited offer, BSNL will offer completely unlimited local and STD calls while charging only 1,199 plus tax, which will work out to about Rs 1,375 per month.
No wireless operator, including the new entrant Reliance Jio, offers truly unlimited broadband plans because of network constraints.
However, BSNL, being a DSL and Fiber operator, does not have to worry about capacity constraints.
BSNL’s biggest competitors are local cable companies and RailWire. RailWire, also a government-controlled entity, offers unlimited 2 Mbps broadband for Rs 1,399 plus tax, which is about 17% more expensive than BSNL.
Until now, it was RailTel which had the upper edge in the competition as it had more competitive rates.
These truly unlimited plans are best suited for those who use their Internet connection to watch videos.
Reliance Jio also launched certain high-usage plans. However, the company offers only 75 GB for Rs 4,999 per month (plus taxes), which translates to about Rs 67 per GB. Jio also offers unlimited downloads between 2 am and 5 am.
The cheapest wireless data provider in India is Bharti Airtel, which offers data at Rs 51 per GB.