BSNL hopes to garner more market share after Jio move

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Crisis-ridden Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is hoping to boost marketshare, following Reliance Jio’s decision to charge 6 paise per minute for voice calls made to mobile phone networks of rival operators.

The state-run telecom operator is also expecting to get 4G spectrum soon, company officials said.

“We see a silver lining. We expect 3-4% gain in marketshare from our current levels due to Jio’s announcement,” BSNL Bengal Circle CGM Ramakant Sharma told reporters here. At present, BSNL has a marketshare of about 6% in the Bengal circle, which he expects to increase to 10%. It enjoys a market share of 12% nationally.

“It could gather growth momentum for us in adding higher number of subscribers,” Calutta Telephones CGM Biswajit Paul said. Sharma said on an average, a subscriber calls 60 minutes a day, and if the entire duration is on off-network (off-net), it will translate into an additional cost of ₹3.6 per day or ₹101 for 28 days, for a Jio user.

On Wednesday, Jio flagged the regulatory uncertainty over review of sunset clause for call termination charges, and announced it will charge customers 6 paise per minute for voice calls made to rival phone networks, but will compensate users by giving free data of equal value.

Jio had said the 6-paise charge will remain in place till the time telecom operators are required to pay rivals for mobile phone calls made by their users to other operators’ network.

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