Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 24: State-run BSNL is gearing up to offer 4G services in Kerala by March next, a company official said on Aug 23. The 4G plan would be introduced as part of the company's expansion at the Phase-8 pan-India level and a tender for it has already been called for, the official said.
A set of 190 new Wi-fi access points would also be implemented in the state circle during the current financial year, he said. "4G will be introduced in select cities in Kerala circle by next March. As part of this, 663 4G towers will be installed," BSNL Chief General Manager, Kerala Circle, R Mani told reporters here today.
Besides introduction of 4G, initiatives to expand the existing 2G and 3G services are also in the offing, he said. Detailing the Phase-8 expansion plans in the circle, he said, "Another 1,083 new 3G sites will be launched in the state. All old technology 2G sites will be replaced with new technology 2G sites."
The official claimed that BSNL's 3G speed is much faster than the 4G services offered by many private players. On Wi-fi service expansion, Mani said that BSNL's Kerala circle has implemented 160 Wi-fi Access Points at 93 locations and another 190 points will be implemented during the current financial year. All these sites are MDO (mobile date offloading) enabled which gives Wi-fi access to mobile customers.
He said that for BSNL, Kerala is the highest profit making circle in the country with a profit of Rs 658 crore in 2015-16, against Rs 486 crore during 2014-15, a growth of over 35 per cent. To stimulate growth in landlines, BSNL announced new plans and offers like unlimited Night Free calls and unlimited calls on Sundays.
"In order to encourage new subscribers and bring back our old customers who switched to other players, we have introduced the LL49 Experience plan with a fixed monthly charge of just Rs 49 for the first six months," he said adding BSNL SIM card is also offered free to customers subscribing to this plan. BSNL Kerala circle has a mobile customer base of 80.5 lakh including 78.2 lakh pre-paid and 2.3 lakh post-paid ones.
Its landline customer base is 20.72 lakh and total broadband connection is 6.60 lakh.