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BSNL offers new landline plans

Telecom price war gets shrill in the state

Our Regional Bureau  |  Ahmedabad 

The price war hit a new high with the state-owned (BSNL) taking the challenge posed by the private players by announcing competitive tariff plans.
After the mobile price war in the Gujarat, now the turn of the landline services has entered the fray.
With the launch of BSNL Plan - 2G on Tuesday with monthly rental at Rs 300 with 250 free calls worth Rs 300, the customers are now having a wider choice.
B K Karecha, ITS, general manger (Dev & NS), BSNL, Gujarat Circle, said, "This is the most economical plan where local calls will be of three minutes duration for the landline."
In fact, the competition between the landline service provider such as BSNL, Tata and Reliance would throw up an array of services for the benefit of the consumer.
Apart from the regulatory Authority of India's (Trai) standard package, BSNL has offered four other packages to its fixed-line subscribers - BSNL Economy (150 free calls with a minimum Rs 350 monthly charges), BSNL Special (600 free calls with minimum Rs 750 monthly charge), BSNL Super (1,800 free calls with minimum Rs 1,650 monthly rental) and BSNL General package (with Rs 250 monthly rental and 30 free calls).
In addition, as per the instructions of Trai, it is also offering Trai's standard package for Rs 280 monthly rental.
Most consumers are puzzled over the different plans offered by the BSNL. While the cellular operators such as Tata and Reliance offer guidance to its customers about the suitable plan through their agents, BSNL has not made any such effort.
For a household which is not even using 125 free monthly calls offered by BSNL, the BSNL general plan is suitable. A working couple with a nuclear family can opt for the BSNL economy plan and they can save up to Rs 20 per month, as they will get free 150 calls by spending a minimum charge of Rs 350 per month.
The corporations and offices providing free phone facility to their employees can save up to Rs 130 to Rs 200 per month by opting for the BSNL special plan which offers free 600 calls with a minimum monthly rental of Rs 750 and additional calls for Rs 1.10 each.
Businessmen and people with high usage can save Rs 500 onwards by opting for the BSNL super plan which offers 1,800 free calls with a minimum monthly commitment of Rs 1,650 and additional calls for Rs 1 each.
BSNL has also introduced some value-added services free of cost. These include caller line identification (CLI) and call waiting/ forwarding/ holding facility. The 95 facility has been extended above 200 km within the circle. According to some reliable sources, Reliance Infocomm is also planning to announce new tariffs next week.

First Published: Thu, February 17 2005. 00:00 IST