BSNL, the state-run telecom company, started offering unlimited free calling to its pre-paid customers at just ₹99 unlike its competitors. Though this expensive rate is limited to specific telecom circles but still it has got some upper-hand over its competitors.
As per the latest offer, BSNL will offer unlimited local and STD calls within its network and 300MB data for ₹99. However, this rate is applicable to Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal telecom circles. In other circles, the state-run telecom company is offering the same benefit with variable pricing ranging from ₹119 to ₹149 with a validity of 28 days.
Apart from the free on-net calls, BSNL has offered unlimited off-net calling facility including both local and STD to any network with 1GB data at ₹339. This unlimited calling facility is offered with a validity of 28 days on PAN-India basis. There are twin advantages with BSNL telecom; one it is PAN India network with a good rural coverage, and the other being zero roaming charges.
Commenting on the launch of the offering, Mr. RK Mittal, Director – Consumer Mobility, BSNL, said: “Tariff offered by BSNL are the most competitive and is committed to provide affordable and excellent services to our esteemed customers.”
It is to be noted BSNL is already offering Unlimited 3G data services for ₹1099 with 30 days validity. No other telecom service provider is offering similar tariff. With the launch of Reliance Jio, there have been drastic changes in the telecom sector. First, the new entrant started offering free voice calling and data under Jio Welcome Offer in September and now it extended the free services until 31st March 2017.
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Reeling under pressure, the incumbent telecom players including Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India started offering free calls on-net and off-net at around ₹150 and ₹350 respectively with 28 days validity. These companies tried to match free 4G services of the new entrant Reliance Jio but with limited mobile data connectivity. The telcom analysts say that the offers announced by the incumbent telecom players are nothing to compete with Jio but still they are doing something to retain their customer base.