While Reliance Jio and Airtel are sweating it out to take control of ultra-high speed 4G market, BSNL is attempting to revive their fortunes with brilliant technological innovations, which can cause a fresh round of disruptions within the telecom market.
In order to lure mobile users into their network, BSNL has decided to consolidate their landline calling features into their mobile network. Thus, those customers who are having landline connection with free night calling features, can now use them on their mobile as well.
The consolidation process will also enable their customers to make/receive their landline calls from mobile and vice-versa; use value added services simultaneously on both the platforms and more.
Confirming these latest developments, BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava said, “We are in the process of rolling out fix mobile convergence platform by Diwali. This will enable consumers avail value added service in mobile phones, make free night calls from mobile phones if they have subscribed to landline and host of other modern facilities,”
As per Shrivastava, BSNL customers will be required to link their landline and mobile accounts, in order to receive the benefits of this syncing process.
BSNL’s free calling plans on their landline network may enable them to stem the outflow of customers, and become India’s 5th largest telecom network with 78 million customers (for the month of July/August).
As we had shared in the month of June, BSNL’s free landline calling plans have helped them to increase new connections by 30%. After the consolidation of landline with mobile, BSNL can expect a new jump in new accounts and connections.
Afterall, who doesn’t want free calls, that too on their mobile?
Technological Innovations By BSNL
BSNL is not giving up the battle, despite poor customer satisfaction, and cut throat competition from biggies such as Reliance and Airtel.
As per various reports, BSNL has invested close to Rs 400 crore in upgrading their landline technology & network, and introducing innovations such as combining landline with mobile network.
To satisfy their landline customers, BSNL is also in talks with Hitachi to install ATMs in their premises. This will help those customers, who still visit their office to pay their bills on desk. These new ATM machines from Hitachi can accept bill payments, dispense cash and more. The installations would start from March, next year.
Earlier, BSNL had introduced free roaming plans for all customers, which had helped them to attract new customers into their platform. Last month, BSNL made 2 Mbps as guaranteed speed for every mobile Internet user; a move which generated quite a buzz. (However, as feedback received from our readers, the actual speed received is still way short of 2 Mbps)
A state-controlled telecom company introducing interesting technological innovations is certainly a good thing. But focussing on a niche which is almost dead (landline) can raise some eyebrows. The temporary rush of new customers who are attracted by free night calling can be a short term strategy.
What if BSNL decides to launch their own low cost 4G services, with free access to all websites for the first 500 MB? What if BSNL decides to take inspiration from Aircel’s Free Basic Internet, and launch a similar plan for all their customers?
With BSNL, possibilities are actually endless. Consolidating landline with mobile is a good initiative, but they need to look ahead, into the future.
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