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BSNL plans to give a facelift to its landline services; video calls and free call transfer in offer
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the government-run telecoms service provider, in a bid to revamp its image in the eyes of customers, is likely to invest Rs. 400 crore to bring revolutionary changes in its landline services by the end of the current fiscal year 2012-2013.

ACCORDING TO media reports, BSNL is planning to appease its customers by introducing new-age facilities such as free call transfer from mobile phones and video calling. The Chairman-cum-Managing Director of BSNL RK Upadhyay has said that the process of converting all exchanges into Next Generation Network, a pre-requisite to revamp landline services, has been started.

“There are total of 37,639 exchanges out of which 30,008 exchanges are based on technology from C-DoT and rest from imported technology. Conversion of C-DoT exchanges in to NGN exchange will require very less amount. Those based on imported technology will involve cost for which we have floated tender. We estimate it will cost between Rs 300-400 crore," said RK Upadhyay.

Presently, if a customer transfers a call from his mobile to another mobile then he has to pay a certain amount, however, BSNL's service to offer call transfer facility from mobile to lanline will be free of cost. BSNL is also planning to push for adoption of NGN-based fixed line connection among corporate customers. The state-run operator says that such phones can be converted in to a small exchange for transferring calls within an organization via the extension number route for employees.

According to the telecom watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), from 31.53 million at the end of May, 2012, the wireline subscriber base has declined to 31.43 million at the end of June, 2012. However, in this dampening environment also BSNL, with a 69% market share that stands for 21.7 million subscribers, is the market leader in the wired telecom segment.

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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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