BSNL withdraws free calls to other networks from existing subscribers

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Customers of state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will have to pay more as the telecom operator has "quietly" withdrawn free calls available under its different broadband plans to other operators' network resulting in increase in monthly bills.

The free calls of different quantity available in various broadband plans, including Broadband Combo, Broadband High Speed, Broadband Plans for Home Users Unlimited and Combo Plans - rental for broadband and telephone- were earlier available to any operator's network on both landline and mobile phone services.

The bills of subscribers for the month of January have increased due to withdrawal of free call facility to all operators of landline and mobile service providers.

BSNL sources said that with effect from January one this year the "free calls" available in various Broadband Plans "are admissible within BSNL network only".

The free calls available to BSNL landline subscribers to other networks having been withdrawn has resulted in increase of telephone bills of the subscribers, the sources said.

The call charges have also been revised in Broadband Plans with Re 1 remaining for calls to BSNL network and Rs. 1.20 per pulse for calls to other networks.

Under unlimited Broadband Combo plan (Home/Business), customers get 350-2,000 free calls per month with rental plans starting Rs. 850 per month up to the maximum of Rs. 15,000 per month. All the free calls would be available only to BSNL network, the sources said.

Under another broadband plan with rental plans (Rs. 299- Rs. 2,799), customers get 175 to 500 free calls per month. Even in Combo plans - where rent is charges for broadband and land line phone - the free calls to all other networks have become chargeable after the BSNL decided to limit free calls only to BSNL network.

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