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STD to crash to a new low of Re 1

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (UNI) One Rupee a minute call anywhere, anytime and any network from both landline and fixed phones will become effective beginning next month, virtually signalling the death of distance within the country.

Ruling out any loss in revenues, both the state owned telecom companies BSNL and MTNL who dominate the telecom market in the country said the new announcement will spell a boom for per minute calls.

This increase in volumes as well as new subscribers, would help rake in profits with a large number of people especially in the huge rural market taking to phones with gusto.

The rentals have been increased to Rs 299 from Rs 250 by both MTNL and BSNL.

Jointly announced, by state owned telecom companies BSNL and MTNL who have nearly 90 per cent of telecom customers in the country, the move is part of the OneIndia Plan that blends the distinction between the fixed line tariff and the cellular tariff.

This would make the tariff itself ''technology independent'', CMD BSNL A K Sinha said.

Mr Sinha said that BSNL plans to ensure that no waiting list remains in the country and would be wiped out by December 2006.

He said unconnected villages, amounting to 60,000 villages will soon be connected.

The BSNL CMD said by December 2006 14,000 satellite phones will be installed in as many villages.

BSNL offers telecom services across the country, except in the cities of Delhi and Mumbai which is served by MTNL.

Local calls will be Re one for three minutes, (a distance of 50 Kms) and long distance would be again Re one but for one minute pulse.

''This will be one of the most affordable, customer friendly and innovative schemes for both local and long distance calls,'' Mr Sinha added.

For cellular service, intra circle calls to BSNL and MTNL mobile will be 40 paise for post-paid and 60 paise for pre-paid.

Offering easy migration it would be Re one per minute for all other calls in India regardless of the network.

Although local call rates have been reduced to Re one for a three minute call, it comes with an increase in rental of Rs 49 to Rs 299 per month from the existing Rs 250.

BSNL and MTNL said all existing tariff plans would continue to be in operation including the lower rentals scheme in rural areas and 'OneIndia' tariff plan would be optional.

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