Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) revised its decision to end the free Sunday calling benefits exactly a week after they decided to shut down the scheme. BSNL in its new announcement has decided to extend the free Sunday calling benefits for another three months. BSNL’s sudden u-turn in revising its decision is seen as an attempt by the company to keep consumers pegged to its landline network. Free Sunday voice calling benefits is offered by the state-owned telecom operator to its subscribers since August 2016 that are available specifically for landline, combo, and FTTH broadband subscribers. The original scheme entailed free voice calling benefits from 9pm to 7pm which was revised by the operator in mid-January after which it started offering the benefits from 10:30pm to 6:30pm. According to PTI, SP Tripathi, Chief General Manager of Calcutta Telephones (CalTel), which is Kolkata unit of BSNL, revealed that there are new plans in the pipeline to reduce the impact derived from the shutdown of free Sunday calls.
The reason for restoring BSNL’s free Sunday voice calling scheme might be the steep competition the company has been facing from various private owned telecom operators like Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio who are offering far more lucrative deals with large amount of data and free voice calling options in STD, local and roaming formats. Last month, BSNL introduced ‘Happy Offer’ for prepaid mobile customers – 43 per cent extra validity and 50 per cent additional data with unlimited local, STD and roaming calls for prepaid mobile customers.
Under the ‘Happy Offer’ scheme, there is a prepaid plan for Rs 485 in which 1.5GB data will be offered daily for 90 days. BSNL in its Rs 666 plan will offer 1.5GB data for 129 days with unlimited local calling, STD and roaming calls. Subscribers taking up the Rs 186 plan and Rs 187 special tariff plan will be provided 1GB data per day for 28 days. Also, BSNL’s Rs 349 and Rs 429 plan will provide customers with 1GB data per day for 54 days and 81 days respectively. BSNL has also decided to offer 100 SMSes per day in all the mentioned offers.