Is BSNL Losing out on the Tariff Advantage? We try to Find Out

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 BSNL Since a few months now every operator has been hiking tariffs and BSNL was not left behind. BSNL started with tariff hikes in the broadband segment, followed by landline and cellular telephony. BSNL has always had the reputation of affordable tariffs in the industry and they offered Special Tariff Vouchers (STVs) which enabled common man to save considerably in mobile bills. After the recent spate of hikes, we discovered that BSNL Mobile tariffs are turning out less competitive when compared to their private peers.

We chose Karnataka circle for this analysis and compared the BSNL rate cutter benefits with those offered by Airtel and Idea. Though we discuss only one circle here, BSNL tariffs in several other circles are same or are on the path of being changed. It may be noted that BSNL Karnataka leads the race when it comes to implementing revised PAN India tariffs.

We chose to compare STVs that offer maximum benefits for calling other networks - for own networks BSNL probably has the best STV for local calls only - 12 p/min for Rs. 65 with a validity of 28 days.

BSNL Airtel Idea Winner
Local Calls Rs. 44 for 30 days - Local Any Net Call 1.4p/2 Sec
Same tariff advantage comes at Rs. 132 for 90 days
Rs. 66 for 28 days - All Local calls @ 1.4p/2s Rs. 49 for 84 days - 1.4p/2sec to all local mobiles (1st two local minutes of the day at 2p/sec). BSNL
STD Calls Rs. 135 for 335 mins local/STD with validity of 30 days: Cost works out to be ~40p/min 1. Rs. 28 for 28 days - All STD calls @ 40p/min
2. Rs. 33 for 84 days - All STD calls at 1.4p/2s. 1st 2 STD min of day at 2p/s
3. Rs. 97 for 30 days - All Local calls @ 1.2p/2s, STD calls @ 1.4p/2s
Rs. 47 for 30 days - Local & STD Mobile calls @ 40p/minRs. 33 for 30 days - STD Mobile calls at 40p/min Airtel - they offer more choice and the Rs. 97 rate cutter offers dual advantage of cheaper local and STD Calls

From the above table it is pretty clear that private operators are providing more choice to consumers. We have not included all STVs offered by Airtel for local calls to avoid confusion as most of them have higher tariffs for the first two minutes. In our opinion going with STVs that offer specific number of minutes (like BSNL's STV-135) can cause losses as:

  1. You may not use all the minutes in that 30 days
  2. You might end up paying more as per base tariffs when on a long call as it often happens on data connections

Interestingly, BSNL Karnataka's neighbor, AP Circle has an STV that offers Local/STD Any network @ 1.2Ps/2 sec for Rs. 59 for 30 days. The same can be availed at Rs. 160 for 90 days. BSNL Karnataka had similar STVs earlier but were pulled out. So it won't be a surprise if that goes away for AP Circle customers anytime!

Have you felt that BSNL's tariffs are changing for bad? For this reason are you planning to switch operators? Let us know!

Note: As BSNL's websites tend to be less up to date, we retrieved information from BSNL Portal where STV details are reliable. For Airtel and Idea, the information was sourced from their official websites. All the above information was retrieved between 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM today.

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