Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) Chairman and Managing Director, Anupam Shrivastava has called Reliance Jio’s entry into the telecom market a “challenge” for all telcos, but expects BSNL to match the company “tariff-by-tariff”. Shrivastava told PTI that the company will take a more aggressive stance on tariffs. “It is a question of survival in the market... there is no other way but to match Jio, tariff-by-tariff. If tariff of Jio is aggressive, the tariff of BSNL and of all other operators is also going to be aggressive,” he said.
While Shrivastava called Jio’s entry into the market a “challenge for all operators,” he also added that competition is good for consumers. PTI also asked Shrivastava if BSNL would consider giving free voice calls for its mobile subscribers, to which he said, “We will think about it... in the next 2—3 months, we will see the impact of what is happening in the market. We could consider giving voice free, from our network but after charging some fixed monthly rate... Fixed-mobile convergence may be the basis of free voice calls.” BSNL recently unveiled a new plan that effectively offers users less than Re. 1 for each GB of data.
Last week, Reliance Jio shook the telecom market by announcing its tariff plans, which included free voice and messages, as well as one of the cheapest 4G data plans in India. Further, data and Jio apps will be free for new Jio customers till December 31, 2016.