VSNL To Review NLD Plans As Tariffs Decline

Mumbai, January 27: | Updated: Jan 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), which has commenced services in 10 cities, will review its national long distance (NLD) plans as tariff rates have been falling.

We have to take a relook at our NLD plans, especially since rates are falling. Business plans for NLD needs a constant review and dynamic updation. We might change the plan depending upon the traffic pattern and its viability in the future, said VSNL managing director SK Gupta, at a book release function organised by the company on Monday in Mumbai.

However, VSNL has no plans to shelve the NLD project, Mr Gupta reiterated. The company has approached GAIL India Ltd and Powergrid Corporation of India Ltd to lease lines for NLD.

Tata Group non-executive chairman Ratan Tata released the book, The Story of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. Calling for a rationalisation in structure for the well-being of the telecom industry, Mr Tata said subscribers would, however, not migrate for lower rates but for quality of services. He also said VSNL is in a different environment today and needs to shift gear to survive, grow and develop further.

VSNL is close to finalising interconnect agreement with MTNL and BSNL on STD tariff rates for terminating calls on those networks but originating from non BSNL and MTNL lines. Commenting on the international long distance market, Mr Gupta said the reduction in rates to Rs six and Rs nine have squeezed both VSNL and MTNL.

The outgo is the same as the income, he said, adding, This development had left the operators with a mere Rs 1.50 paise per call, depending upon where it terminates.