State-run BSNL Monday launched video telephony service in south and east zones of the country in partnership with public sector company ITI and technology firm Click Telecom.
"Broadband business through this (video telephony) service will get them (BSNL) a lot of money. Its a good business model to improve health of the organisation. From business point of view, it is very significant step. From consumers point, it is an important step and from the government it will bring lot of efficiency," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said while inaugurating the service.
Users of the service will have to pay Rs. 2.5 for a 60 second call. BSNL is also offering unlimited calling facility for this service under 30-day plan costing Rs. 2,200.
There are other two plans costing Rs. 750 and Rs. 350 for 30 days each. These plans will allow subscribers to make 900 and 150 minutes calls free respectively and thereafter they will be charged Rs. 2.5 for each 60 second call.
BSNL CMD RK Upadhyay said that these are initial plans and rates in future will depend on the response that company gets from the market.
"With the launch of Video Telephony, organisations can have instant face-to-face meetings, sales reviews, training sessions at 25 percent of the current cost," Upadhyay said.
BSNL has already launched the service in north and west zones. Sibal said that at present the service will be used by "state governments, public sector organisations but in times to come they will be used by ordinary consumers."