BSNL goes bullish on data play, plans to ramp up mobile broadband capacity by 600 terabyte

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State-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will increase its mobile broadband capacity by up to two-fold to 600 terabytes in a month in a bid to stay relevant in the country and to better compete with private players that are already offering 4G services.

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The telecom operator said that it sees enormous increase in usage of mobile data on its network. The surge in demand for mobile data on BSNL network can be attributed to the recently launched unlimited 3G scheme for Rs 1,099, according to BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava.

The plan offers unlimited access to 3G without any speed restriction for 30 days. Comparatively, private telecom operators offer 7GB to 11 GB data download for Rs 1,100.

Notably, the 4G entrant Reliance Jio is offering 4 GB 4G data per day free till the end of this year. From January 1, the company will offer unlimited 4G data at starting price of Rs 19, but the 'unlimited' 4G usage will remain valid during night hours.

Shrivastava said that the telco would be increasing its data network capacity to deliver high-speed 3G and other services. He added that BSNL would double the capacity to 600 TB in the Southern zone, and in other zones, it will be up to 450 TB by November.

The CMD said that the average data download per customer under the plan had been around 2.2 GB which means 66 GB per customer in a month.

"In 2012, data usage on BSNL network was around 80 TB. After recent unlimited 3G Internet scheme we have seen a sudden jump in data usage. In July it was around 279 TB which has now gone up to 353 TB," he added.

BSNL is also planning to launch lifetime free voice service starting from January 2017, along with plans that will be cheaper than what Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio had announced earlier this month. The move is aimed at quickly expanding the subscriber base across India, except Mumbai and Delhi, where MTNL provides services.

Shrivastava said that BSNL is ready to compete with any telecom operator in the market and it will match any tariff in the market.

“We are already offering 300 GB of data usage for Rs 249 per month on fixed broadband connection. It is valid for six months, and no other operator has been able to match it," Shrivastava said.

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