BSNL launches Rs 144 free data and unlimited calling plan

Even state-run telco BSNL is feeling the pressure of Reliance Jio’s free services offer, forcing the former to now announce unlimited local and STD calls for Rs 144 as well as 300MB of data usage at no charge. The company’s chairman and MD, Anupam Srivastava, says that the deal will be available to both postpaid and prepaid customers.

BSNL’s scheme will have a one-month limit and it will allow any number of calls to local or STD numbers to any network across India. What’s more, the telecom operator is all set to get into the 4G LTE game, having recently received a license for the 2500MHz spectrum band from the government.

According to a PTI report, BSNL expects to become profitable by 2018 – 19. It has been attracting 1.5 lakh new subscribers each month. Over 50000 of its 64500 mobile towers boast of optical fiber connectivity and talks about having a separate company manage its tower infrastructure are in progress.

BSNL Stock Image

In terms of public Wi-Fi hotspots, BSNL has already set up 4400 such zones across India and intends to have that figure up to 40000 within a year. While announcing the Rs 144 plan, Shrivastava also told reporters that the telecom industry was highly competitive due to Jio’s entry into the market.

Even though the Mukesh Ambani-led company has a roughly 6% share of the Indian telecom subscriber base, it will continue to negatively affect the revenue earned by rivals until its Happy New Year Offer ends in March 2017. TRAI had recently questioned Jio about the legality of its latest promotion.

Also see: TRAI looks into Reliance Jio violations, but only after Airtel takes legal action

Jio apparently wrote back to the regulatory body, explaining that its Welcome Offer extended 4GB of free daily data, while the Happy New Year Offer caps it at 1GB. The latter plan also permits users to pay for data access beyond the 1GB limit. So in essence, they are not the same.