BSNL counters Reliance Jio: State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has come up with a new data plan for its subscribers, under the name Chaukka444. In the Chaukka 444 plan, subscribers will be able to avail unlimited data benefits for a time period of 90 days. The new promotional plan, also known as Special Tariff Voucher (STV), can only be availed by the network provider’s prepaid users. BSNL’s STV- 444 comes right after the STV-333 plan or the Triple ACE plan that was introduced earlier this year. The earlier plan was claimed by BSNL to have gotten a ‘successful response’. The BSNL Chaukka 444 plan offers unlimited data with FUP at 4GB per day when users recharge their numbers with Rs 444. The validity of the new offer is 90 days. This essentially means that, under the new BSNL plan, you will be able to get 4GB data per day at less than even Rs 5.
Telcom companies in India have taken to aggressive data pricing thanks to Reliance Jio’s cheap data plans. The newcomer, which rolled out its services on September 1, 2016, has already crossed 108 million user base. Earlier, BSNL had expressed concern that it is likely to feel the ‘stress’ this financial year because of intense competition and asked the telecom department to speed up its receivables. Meanwhile, RK Mittal, Director (CM) BSNL Board said in a press statement, “We are committed to provide affordable and efficient services to all segment of our mobile customers. We offer best prices to our customers considering present trend of Indian telecom industry.”
Recently, BSNL officials had reportedly met an inter-ministerial group as part of the ongoing dialogue between the industry and the government to discuss the sector’s financial headwinds. The sector is reeling under Rs 4.6 lakh crore of debt and its revenue and profitability are facing strains following free offerings from Jio.
Jio’s ‘Dhan Dhana Dhan’ plan for its Prime members give 1GB and 2GB data per day at a recharge of Rs 309 and Rs 509 respectively. Reliance Jio also unveiled a new plan that offers 20 percent more 4G data to those users who buy select Lyf-branded smartphones. According to a PTI report, Jio’s data tariffs remain the cheapest in the country in both prepaid and postpaid categories.
Meanwhile, rivals like Idea, Airtel and Vodafone have lowered their data tariffs as well. Idea recently unveiled a new plan that offers 70GB of 3G data at Rs 396. Airtel is offering huge discounts on its broadband services where it is offering upto 1000GB of free extra data to its customers. Vodafone, on the other hand, launched its Ramzan special offer that gives users 25GB data along with unlimited calling at Rs 786 to its customers in select circles.