Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Taking into account the competition from private players, the public sector Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has announced a new set of incentives for its existing as well as potential customers in the Rajasthan Telecom Circle which include unlimited calls within the State for basic landline subscribers and a gift of ITC (India Telephone Card) worth Rs.500 for booking a new landline.

The new offers include introduction of pre-paid services on landline phones in 11 cities of Rajasthan, including the State capital.

“The income has been going up and so is the competition. We have been witnessing tremendous growth in telephone connections in Rajasthan in recent times,” said Mohan Lal Gumber, Chief General Manager, Rajasthan Telecom Circle, talking to journalists here. The income from Rajasthan circle has grown to Rs.1,900 crore against Rs.1,000 crore four years back.

“We expect it to touch Rs.2,500 crores in 2007-08,” he said.

The tele-density (number of telephone users among a population of 100) of Rajasthan -- going by the BSNL connections -- has also recorded an increase from 6.02 in 2006 to 7.1 at present, which is above the national average. In the urban centres it is as high as 19.63 while in rural areas it continued to lag behind others at 3.28. Presently BSNL accounts for 40 lakh connections in Rajasthan. Out of this, 21 lakh connections are mobile phones.

Mr. Gumber said along with the scheme of unlimited calls within Rajasthan BSNL has introduced a scheme for unlimited calls for basic landline customers within Jaipur on payment of Rs.99 a month. In the case of all Rajasthan unlimited calls the charge is Rs.149 per month.

Live TV programmes are also available for its mobile customers with BSNL Rajasthan tying up with Digital Media Convergence Ltd. last week.