BSNL to offer free calls from 9pm-7am to resurrect landline calling

BSNL plans to launch free fixed line calls at night to revive landline calling in India

The growing popularity of mobiles these days have completely wiped off landlines from Indian homes. Hence, in order to revive landlines, the State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) plans to offer free fixed-line calls at night.

BSNL, has launched a plan that allows fixed-line users to make unlimited free calls to all landlines and mobile phones across the country between 9pm and 7am. The plan, that flags off on May 1, will be at first applicable for six months and then would be analyzed depending on the feedback. However, this plan will not be applicable in Delhi and Mumbai, as BSNL does not offer telecom services here.

Anupam Shrivastava, chairman and managing director of BSNL, told HT that “We hope to resurrect our fixed-line business and we hope that it will attract customers back to fixed-line. There will be some impact on revenues, but with only 10% calls made at night, it may go up to 15% with the offer. However, if we are able to add more customers, then, it is worth the attempt.”

Landlines, once known as the the lifeline of all Indians have been dumped by millions for more handy and flexible mobile phones in the last 10 years. This is also because of very cheap call rates and the increase in smartphones.

BSNL with its new scheme is hoping to boost the fixed-line subscriptions that have fallen over the past five years from 27.83 million in 2010 to 16.93 million in 2015 (until March 31).

The new scheme is said to cover all major landline general plans of rural and urban areas, landline special plans along with major landline and broadband combination plans. Details of the same are now available on its website.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), which offers telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai, has no immediate plans to match the offer, an official in the company’s marketing department said. The public sector telecom company is without a CMD and hence such decision are not possible, he said.

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