State-owned telecom companies are incurring losses in providing high-speed Wi-Fi connections to members of Parliament, Union Minister for Communications and Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
As per data available with the Telecom Ministry till May 2019, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have provided an aggregate of 757 Internet connections to members of Parliament.
New Delhi: Ailing telecom firm BSNL has lost the mandate for rolling out mobile service project in Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam on recommendation made by an inter-ministerial panel headed by Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
The project was funded through Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) -- which was formed by the Centre to help fund projects in rural areas -- with an outlay of ₹1,460 crore.
State-run telecom firm BSNL Chairman P.K. Purwar has set sales targets for the company's various business verticals - fixed line, enterprise businesses, Fibre-to-Home and consumer mobility or wireless - to be achieved by the telecom circles in the current fiscal.
The department of telecommunications is pushing for a Rs 74,000-crore revival package for the loss-making BSNL and MTNL on the ground that closing them down would cost higher — around Rs 95,000 crore. The assumption behind the revival package, which involves an attractive VRS package to BSNL’s 1.65 lakh employees, reducing the retirement age from the current 60 years to 58 years, will cut the wage bill of the company which in FY19 was 77% of its revenues.
A group of ministers led by home minister Amit Shah is understood to have met on Tuesday to explore ways to revive sick telecom PSUs —BSNL and MTNL —; a task which seems herculean with every passing day. Since the days of the government garnering high revenues through spectrum auctions are over, the choices before it are limited and also costly. Hyper competition and spectrum auction design led to generation of surplus for the exchequer in the past but any such chances are not there now.
BSNL has rolled out a Rs 96 prepaid recharge plan which offers 100 SMS messages per day and unlimited voice calls for 21 days, reported Telecom Talk. Named the Vasantam Gold – PV 96, BSNL prepaid plan under Rs 100 is valid for 180 days, however the benefits last for just 21 days.
The new Rs 96 prepaid plan by the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has been made available under a promotional period of 90 days and came into effect on July 5.
Though the telecom sector has not recovered fully yet, positive swings seem to be emerging. The adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of the industry rose marginally to Rs 35,932 crore in the January-March quarter. The number for the same period last year stood at Rs 35,697 crore. On a sequential basis, though, the AGR declined a bit, as in the December quarter, the amount was Rs 36,054 crore.
NEW DELHI: Over 1,000 mobile towers and 500 telephone exchanges of cash-strapped Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) are not functional due to non-payment of electricity bills, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
A comprehensive revival plan for two state-owned firms BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) is under preparation, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
State-owned telecom firm BSNL has received approval of the home ministry and the Department of Telecommunications to provide special SIM to Amarnath pilgrims.
"Since prepaid connections of other states are not allowed to work in Jammu and Kashmir, special pre-loaded Yatra SIMs are being provided by BSNL with the approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the DoT," BSNL said in a statement.
Aiming to revive loss-making telecom companies BSNL and MTNL, the telecom ministry has proposed a plan comprising an early retirement of staff, capital infusion and monetisation of assets to keep them afloat in a highly competitive market.
An in-principle approval for a potential merger of the two state-run companies is also part of the proposals, according to a senior official from the ministry.
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