BSNL added 13.93 lakh subscribers to increase...
its base to 8.48 crore. Bharti Airtel added 29 lakh subscribers to take its base to 24.86 crore at the end of February whereas Vodafone added 20.34 lakh users and its base increased to 19.67 crore. Idea Cellular added 14.63 lakh subscribers to increase its base to 17.46 crore and Reliance Communications added 6.99 lakh users to take its base to 10.19 crore.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that this is a matter of great satisfaction that BSNL has left behind private telcos in growth rate. This only shows that hard work, dedication and strict monitoring at the political level, public sector units (PSUs) can do well and give competition to private telcos.
Growth of BSNL in February 2016 is 1.67 percent which is double the industry growth rate of 0.85 percent, BSNL said quoting the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) report.
BSNL said its field units have synergised their efforts to achieve this target. "Our MNP (Port in/Port out ratio) has become first time positive in FY 2015-16, meaning thereby that the number of customers joining BSNL from other operators is more than the customers leaving BSNL. We are thankful to our customers for reposing faith in us. We are committed to provide the best services to our customers," Director (CM) BSNL Board R K Mittal told a news agency.
Earlier, in a bid to generate revenue and return to profitability in a couple of years, BSNL is seeking partnerships with private sector players. BSNL has outlined up a strategy to use its underused network and forge agreements with private telecom players. This will also mean minimal capital expenditure, says a senior BSNL executive. BSNL wanted to use its network, which is lying vacant at several places, optimally.
BSNL has been taking various measures to come back to profitablity and is focusing big time on data services to improve revenues. BSNL will be investing close to Rs 39,000 crore in the next five years, a major chunk of it on data.
The minister for communications and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has been closely keeping a close tab on the performance of both the firms. Even Prime Minister's office has been taking regular meetings with the ministry and company officials to take a stock of the situation and take steps to restore the health of two telecom firms, which once dominated the mobile industry.
Earlier, last year, the Cabinet also approved financial incentives for the two. In lieu of returning spectrum, they will be refunded Rs 169 crore (BSNL) and Rs 458 crore (MTNL). Also, the Cabinet gave nod to BSNL to hive off its towers into a separate company, aiming to generate additional revenues.