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BSNL announces "OneIndia" tariff plan

February 15, 2006
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The "OneIndia" tariff has been finally announced. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) will offer STD calls for Re 1 a minute to their fixed line users. Though the monthly rental has been hiked to Rs 299, local call charges have been fixed at Re 1 for three minutes. While this is good news for users, the scheme is expected to be a financial drain on both BSNL and MTNL. The two PSUs had initially resisted the move but finally gave in to the pressure of the telecom ministry. BSNL alone is expected to face a loss of up to Rs 50 billion annually on account of the OneIndia tariff. However, in the long run, the increase in STD traffic should help to make up the losses. Reliance Infocomm was the first company in India to launch such a scheme. Competition is now expected to intensify with the state-owned companies joining the fray.

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