Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Dec 06, 2005
Marketing - Strategy
Info-Tech - Telecommunications
BSNL Chennai unveils new 3-in-1 package Bid to increase utilisation of spare capacities
Chennai , Dec. 5
BSNL, Chennai Telephones, is offering a 3-in-1 package using which customers can avail themselves of a landline, a broadband and a mobile phone connection for a monthly rent of Rs 333. There is also a 2-in-1 offer landline and cellular service for Rs 279.
Announcing the new offers at a press conference, Mr K.B. Brahmadathan, Chief General Manager, Chennai Telephones, said that the aggressively priced packages are aimed at increasing utilisation of BSNL's spare capacities.
The company's landline usage takes second place to mobile usage - an international trend and companies need to come up with novel approaches to hold on to existing customers, he added.
The landline subscriber base is continuously being eroded. In the last eight months, the net surrender rate has been about 40,000 and the gross surrender rate 60,000-70,000.
But this is not something to be concerned about as it is in line with the general trend of landlines giving way to cellular service, he said.
BSNL's landline subscriber base in Chennai is about nine lakh against an installed capacity of 12 lakh. Therefore, it will not be making any additional investment in landline infrastructure.
In mobile phone service, Chennai Telephones has offered over 60,000-70,000 connections a month in October and November. Post-paid bookings were about 15,000 in October and 19,000 in November. It has a subscriber base of 4.8 lakh in Chennai, of which about 1.2 lakh are post-paid customers. In Tamil Nadu, the subscriber base is about 11 lakh.
In an informal chat, BSNL officials said that its market share in landline connections was 70-80 per cent and is expected to stabilise at 50 per cent.
The drop would be due to the shift to mobile services and other private fixed line service providers.
BSNL's broadband subscriber base is about 38,500 in the city, with another 5,000-6,000 awaiting connection.
The features of the 3-in-1 scheme are: 30 free calls for landline, Rs 1.20 a call if free call limit is exceeded, no installation charges, 200 MB free download for browsing, Rs 1.40 an MB beyond the free download limit, security deposit ranges between Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,000 depending on local, STD or ISD service, no activation charge for CellOne connection up to December 31, and free STD and national roaming. Existing customers can migrate to this scheme on paying a migration charge of Rs 300.
The rates under the 2-in-1-offer for landline and cellular service are the same as that for the 3-in-1 plan.
BSNL has also announced a range of other schemes, including a new post-paid connection called the SMS Power Plan that offers 2,000 free SMS within BSNL network, a monthly rent of Rs 99, plan charge Rs 99, and pulse rate of 60 seconds.
Intra-circle outgoing calls in the BSNL network would cost Rs 1.20 a minute and in other networks, Rs 1.80. Inter-circle outgoing calls in the BSNL network would cost Rs 2 and other networks Rs 2.40.
BSNL has also introduced new top-up cards, free upgrade to DataOne broadband for dialup Internet users and Internet on corDECT WLL. It has extended the Plan-100 for Government and PSU employees to December 12 and the Student Power-99 scheme will be available throughout December.
Landline phone connections that have been disconnected for non-payment of dues can be reconnected without rent for the disconnected period after the outstanding dues are paid. This offer will be open up to March 31, 2006.
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