The State-run BSNL is about to offer free voice calling and cheaper data plans than Reliance Jio’s Rs 149 entry level plan. Unlike Jio’s 4G offer, BSNL will offer cheaper services for its 2G and 3G users. The said zero-voice-tariff plan will be launched by the state-run telco in January 2017.
The move from BSNL has set the stage for a tariff price war in India’s crowded telecom market. While the Jio services are limited for 4G subscribers only, BSNL is planning to offer cheaper tariff plans for data and free voice calling facilities on its 2G and 3G network, which comprise the greater part of mobile customers.
The BSNL is strongly observing the telecom market as well as the Jio’s performance. Hence to tackle Jio’s offer, the company is now planning to offer free voice plans for a lifetime as a part of new offerings from January next year. It is claimed that the tariff plans from BSNL will be cheaper than Jio plans by Rs 2-4.
The BSNL free voice plan offer is applicable for those who also have a home broadband connection. While so, the company will route the outgoing calls from smartphones through the landline network. The company has estimated that the users usually spend most of their time at home and hence riding the mobile services over the wireline operations could be a good option. Furthermore, the subscribers can also enjoy the free voice facility outside their residence.
BSNL has a strong penetration and noteworthy market share in many key parts of the country such as Kerala, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, and UP. Whereas, the key markets of the country such Mumbai and Delhi are been serviced by another state-run telco- MTNL.
The BSNL’s offer might put additional pressure on private telecom operators such as Vodafone, Idea, and Airtel to slash their tariffs. In addition, BSNL is planning to secure the 5MHz spectrum for 4G services in the premium 700MHz band across the country which will help the company to provide better coverage.
Recently, Bharti Airtel has announced the special 4G data pack which includes free data for a period of 90 days for a price of Rs 1,495. The 4G data plan is now available in Delhi circle and soon will be launched across the other circles of the country.