BSNL cuts 3G prices as subscribers hit 40,000

13 Aug 2009

Indian state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will reduce the cost of its 3G services in a bid to boost uptake, the Business Standard reports. BSNL will offer pre-paid 3G SIMs for INR59 (USD1.22), with pre-paid activation costs dropped to INR120 and post-paid activation costing INR225. It will also offer free, unlimited video calls for all connections for the first month for those signing up before 31 August. The move comes following a weak demand for BSNL’s 3G services, with the operator reporting it had signed up just 10,733 3G users in the first four months of the service being made available; on announcing the price cuts it revealed that its 3G customer base had risen to approximately 40,000. High prices had been blamed for the initially lukewarm reception to the new services, although the telco also initially offered a limited range of services. It launched video calling, videoconferencing, mobile TV and mobile broadband when it began offering commercial 3G subscriptions, but has since extended its offerings to include video-on-demand, video screening, music downloads and online games.