BSNL mobile subscribers will soon be able to avail free calling benefits offered on their landline phone as the state-run firm is going to roll out a convergence platform that will sync subscribers' mobile and fixed line connections. "We are in the process of rolling out fix mobile convergence platform by Diwali.
This will enable consumers avail value added service in mobile phones, make free night calls from mobile phones if they have subscribed to landline and host of other modern facilities," BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava told PTI. He said that with this roll out, consumers will be able to link their mobile and landline accounts.
"The sync between the two accounts will be such that it will enable our subscribers receive their landline calls on mobile phones," Shrivastava said. BSNL has invested over Rs 400 crore to modernise its landlines. The company slipped to sixth position in terms of overall subscriber base in April. At the end of August, BSNL's total subscriber base was around 7.8 crore.
After a long period, BSNL in July and August 2015 ranked among top five mobile players in terms of net addition of monthly subscribers. BSNL, however, has been losing customers in landline space despite offering free night calls from landline to any phone in India.
"We have been able to arrest decline rate in landline connections. In a few months and with launch of fix mobile convergence, our landline should turn positive. We have already turned gainer for mobile subscribers under mobile number portability scheme," Shrivastava said.
The company has launched free roaming scheme which enables its subscribers to attend free incoming calls while travelling anywhere in the country at no extra cost. "Free roaming scheme has become one of the major growth drivers for uptake in mobile subscriber number," Shrivastava added.
The company is also in the process to tie up with Hitachi's ATM business unit which will allow its landline customers, who pay bill offline, to make payment anytime during the day. "Many landline users still pay bill at our counter. The counters are open for limited time and between peak office hours i.e. 10am - 2pm.
We are partnering with Hitachi. It will install ATM at our premise which will also accept cash. BSNL customers will be able to pay their bills at this ATM as per their convenience," Shrivastava said. He said that Hitachi ATM machines will be rolled out initially in small cities around March 2016. BSNL will also get revenue share from each transaction made on ATMs installed in its premise.