After the government’s recent approval to full-fledged internet telephony by telcos, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) today said it is ready with its new offering ‘Wings’, which will be rolled out from August 1. Those subscribing to the new service, entailing one-time registration fee of Rs 1,099, will be able to make calls using any internet connection including broadband, WiFi, 3G or 4G data network of any operator, thus overcoming connectivity problems even in areas having patchy signals. “To use the service, a customer needs to install… soft app on any of its smart devices (like laptop/smart mobile handset/tablet) having internet… to make and receive calls from anywhere in India and abroad with any party (landline/mobile),” BSNL said in a statement.
The government has recently amended norms to allow full-fledged internet telephony by telecom operators which will enable calls from app to app of licensed service providers as well as on phone numbers. The new amendment allows only authorised licensed holders to provide full-fledged internet telephony and not over-the-top players like WhatsApp and Google Duo, that allow only app-to-app calling.
In effect, telcos have been allowed to piggyback on each other’s data networks in case of voice calls over WiFi, and these calls can terminate on mobile or landline networks. BSNL is ready with its internet telephony service with brand name ‘Wings’ to the customers, the telco said, adding that the new service is in a soft launch mode and that connections will be made available from August 1, after registration.
“There are some areas where mobile coverage is not good, thus poor speech quality, but internet is available by any means including WiFi. By Wings service using internet service of any operator, customer will be active to make or receive calls,” BSNL said. Customers will be required to pay Rs 1,099, and can avail free domestic calls for one year, while the overseas calls will be priced as per international tariffs of BSNL landline, an official of the telecom PSU said.
“BSNL is offering unlimited free audio and video calling for one year at one-time activation. Customer has to activate the services (one-time in life) at Rs 1,099,” the statement added. In addition, the company has launched a prepaid landline service – also in a soft launch mode – that will operate on ‘pay as per use’ basis. There are no installation charges, no rental or registration charges, BSNL said in a separate statement.
It added that customers can buy their own instruments or take BSNL’s CLIP instruments at a one-time cost of Rs 625. “Customer can purchase an initial plan voucher of Rs 200 with unlimited calls to any network and anywhere in India with a validity of 30 days,” BSNL statement said, adding that these can later be supplemented with special tariff vouchers of various denominations. BSNL is also lining up top-up vouchers that can be used by the customer within validity period.