State-run telecom operator, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited or BSNL is making new changes to its tariff portfolio in recent times. To recall, the telco has removed several popular prepaid STVs like Rs 333, Rs 444, which offered great value for money. With all the private telcos now looking to increase their ARPU, BSNL is likely aiming for the same as it's retaining only high-end plans. As part of this move, BSNL has removed entry-level talk time prepaid plans of Rs 10 and Rs 20 in select circles. At the moment, we can confirm the removal of these two talk time plans in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana circle. The talk time plans are no more listed on BSNL's official website and third-party recharge portals like Paytm, Mobikwik and so on. That being said, BSNL prepaid users in the said circle can recharge these talk time plans via physical vouchers. Other talk time plans like Rs 30, Rs 50, Rs 100 and so on are available for recharge via every online portal.
BSNL Following the Footsteps of Private Telcos
One of the major moves ever made by India's private telecom operators - Airtel and Vodafone Idea is to remove the basic talk time recharges like Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and so on. However, on consumer demand, they have brought back the Rs 50 and Rs 500 talk time plans. Although BSNL's move is not as significant as that of private telcos, it's something interesting and also hints at the telco's intentions going forward.
As noted, BSNL has removed the Rs 10 and Rs 20 online talk time plans in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana circle, but other talk time plans like Rs 30, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 110 and so on are still available for recharge through online portals. The Rs 10 and Rs 20 plans will only be available as physical vouchers. On the brighter side, the government-led PSU did not implement any minimum recharge scheme like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
For the unaware, customers of Airtel and Vodafone Idea are forcing to perform a recharge of Rs 24 for every 28 days. In recent times, we have seen both Airtel and Vodafone Idea losing subscribers on a large number and the reason behind it is the implementation of minimum recharge scheme. BSNL gained a lot of subscribers of Airtel and Vodafone Idea as it did not implement any such scheme.
BSNL did not reveal the exact reason of why it removed the two recharge plans from online portals. Our guess is both the plans must be having a poor demand from the users compared to physical vouchers, so BSNL scrapped them all together for online users and kept it alive for physical users. In several rural areas, telecom subscribers still hunt for physical recharges as they are unaware of the online recharges.
BSNL Going Strong in Monthly Subscriber Addition
Over the last few months, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is the only telco alongside Reliance Jio to add new subscribers. According to the latest Trai data, BSNL currently has over 115 million subscribers and it added close to 25 million users since the entry of Reliance Jio back in 2016. This is a good feat as the top two private telcos lost over 50 million each during the same period.