All the telcos in the country are up for certain measures to counter Jio and to this BSNL is also no exception. State-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) recently announced the soft launch of Wings. Well, this is the telco’s first Internet telephony service in India, i.e. a prepaid initiative in its landline offerings, and a rent-free landline connection for existing subscribers. This service would be using a mobile numbering scheme, provided using IP based access network of IMS NGN Core switches, to allow subscribers to make and receive calls over the Internet via their landline or mobile phone. One-time activation fee for the VoIP service has been set at ₹1,099.
Back in October last year, TRAI had in fact released guidelines for Internet telephony/ VoIP standards in the country. This development emerged after private players complained about BSNL’s mobile calling app that allowed users to make international calls using the Internet. This app was apparently launched to bypass call connection charges.
Under the new guidelines that BSNL has put in place with its Wings initiative, the state-owned telco will have to link a mobile numbering scheme with the mobile app in order for calls to go through. The company is offering free audio and video calling for one year at the above-mentioned activation fee of Rs. 1,099. This service is targeted at subscribers in areas with poor mobile coverage. With the Wings Internet telephony services, users can make and receive calls using broadband, Wi-Fi, 4G, or the 3G Internet. Video calling is only supported for Wings-to-Wings calls only.
Customers would be now able to use their existing address book while making calls through the app. The soft app or SIP client is configurable on laptops and mobile phones.
Booking for new connections under this scheme is scheduled to start soon and customers would be wait-listed with immediate effect in all telecom circles of BSNL. Additionally, the first batch would start rolling out from August 1, 2018, with availability on a first come first serve basis.
Now, in addition to the above, BSNL this week also introduced a ‘pay per use’ prepaid landline offering for its subscribers. With no installation, no rental, and no registration charges, prepaid BSNL landline can be installed on the customer’s own instrument or on BSNL’s CLIP instrument that asks for a one-time ₹625 charge.
The initial pack voucher has been priced for ₹200 with unlimited voice calls to any network, including local and STD, with the validity of 30 days. Special Tariff Vouchers (STVs) would be also available, priced between ₹11 and ₹199, with the validity ranging between 1 day and 30 days. All the STVs offer unlimited local and STD calls to any network in India. BSNL, thus, is offering top-up vouchers that can be utilized within the validity period.
To apply for the prepaid landline service, users can subscribe through SMS, BSNL CSCs, retailer outlets, or BSNL’s direct selling agents. Recharge for the packs can be done through BSNL’s online portal or through retail stores.