State-run BSNL is planning to stoke the angry 3G tariff wars in India by dropping its data rates by up to 50 percent. This will be included as part of its 8th phase of network expansion, according to the latest report. Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastav, thinks a 50 percent slash in 3G data as compared to current prices, is an achievable goal.
BSNL’s word should offer a break to Indian consumers who are clearly frustrated by the games telecom operators have been playing in order to make up for their falling voice and SMS revenues. In 2014, carriers were seen to hike their mobile Internet rates by up to 100 percent. After conveniently raising the cost, certain service providers started slashing the prices once again.
If you’re a BSNL customer, you’re probably already enjoying the perks with 1GB of 3G data being available for Rs 175, and 2GB for Rs 251. The company cannot cut the tariffs right away since it claims to be using more than 90 percent of its capacity, according to a PTI post picked up by The Economic Times. The lower pricing may cause an increased load of traffic on the network.
The phase 7 network expansion plan which has been allotted a budget of roughly Rs 4800 crores, is supposed to be completed by June 2015, after which the next stage will be kicked off. The service provider will bring additional 3G capacity to its regional node centers and create its network to be compatible with IPv6, the next generation in Internet IDs.
As we revealed in an older report, BSNL will be working towards providing free Wi-Fi coverage in 2500 cities and towns across India. The project is anticipated to cost up to Rs 7000 crores and take up to 3 years for completion. Those who already happen to be subscribers of the company, will be offered automatic connectivity to these wireless hotspots.
BSNL was given 3G spectrum in 2009, but did not make any investments in building the necessary infrastructure until 2013 owing to lack of funds and other hiccups. The company intends to issue a tender for its phase 8 network expansion plan in the first quarter of the coming financial year.