Staff Reporter

Private players win over 2,700 customers in last one year

BSNL adds nearly 5,000 new connections under new schemes in 2004-05However, aggressive market strategies prove too much for BSNL

VIJAYAWADA: The public patronage for landlines phones of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is declining gradually in the face of growing competition from private operators. Another reason cited for the dwindling number of basic phone connections is non-payment of bills. In the last one year, BSNL has lost over 2,700 connections in the district.

The BSNL made inroads by launching new schemes during 2004-05 when nearly 5,000 new connections were added to its kitty. But that did not last long, mainly due to the aggressive market strategies adopted by the private players. The private companies are offering to their landline customers, packages including lifetime plans.

In the past four years, the number of landline connections of BSNL has come down by over 4,000 and it has left an impact on revenue also. Lack of value added services on landlines is stated to be another reason for the declining patronage.

The BSNL revenue over the years is as follows: Rs. 142.94 crore in 2002-03, Rs. 140.17 crore in 2003-04, Rs. 135.93 crore in 2004-05 and Rs. 128.29 crore in 2005-06. The trend in number of connections is as follows: Rs. 2,23,257 in 2002-03, Rs. 2,26,556 in 2003-04, Rs. 2,21,865 in 2004-05 and Rs. 2,19,099 in 2005-06.

New connections

A senior official of BSNL says that new landline connections will be introduced in the city soon so as to provide value added services to the customers. The BSNL has already released CDMA technology phones in rural areas.

Once these are extended in urban areas, the customers can make use of SMS and Internet services.

Meanwhile, the BSNL officials have issued orders increasing the pulse rate per call unit on BSNL fixed phones and this will save up to 25 per cent on intra-circle calls.