State-owned telecom firm BSNL on Saturday said it plans to add 2.2 crore subscribers next fiscal and is mulling foray into the mobile banking and advertising space.

“Next year (2010-11) we are keeping a target of 22 million mobile connections -- 20 million 2G connections and two million 3G,” Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s (BSNL) Director (Consumer Mobility) R.K. Agarwal told PTI.

Mr. Agarwal also said BSNL is working on a mobile banking platform. “We have tested a platform, by which money can be transferred. Pilot testing has been done in Chandigarh on money transfer through (money) order by SMS.”

“We are in touch with the Postal Department, along with whom we will roll out mobile banking,” he said, adding that the proposed roll-out would be done step-by-step as RBI has a .

“cautious policy” as “they have to check frauds which may occur“.

BSNL plans to launch mobile advertisements in two-three months, Mr. Agarwal said, adding that it expects a pick up in this business only in a year. “We are going to launch mobile advertisement services, location-based services and a host of multimedia services“.

For the current financial year (2009-10), BSNL’s target is to achieve 1.8 million subscribers, of which 1.4 million have been added so far, he said. Mobile services business for the year ending March 31 is expected to be at Rs 10,500 crore.

Mr. Agarwal said BSNL currently has 8.5 lakh 3G mobile subscribers, a number that is set to go up to a million (ten lakh) by next month. Average revenue per user (ARPU) from 3G subscribers is 40 per cent more than their 2G counterparts, he added.

BSNL has rolled out 3G or third generation mobile services in 318 cities of the country. This would go up to 760 cities by March next year, Mr. Agarwal said.

According to him, the price of 3G mobile handset is going to come down to Rs 4,000 from Rs 7,000-8,000 at present.

He said from April 1, BSNL call centres would be judged on a lot of performance-based indicators.

“We are going to have state-wise call centres,” he said.

To start with, call centre services would be offered in local languages in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala from April, he said.

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