In a bid to meet competition from private telecom operators, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) Monday announced mobile TV service 'Ditto TV' and limited fixed mobile telephony, an app that virtually turns mobiles into cordless phone working in sync with landlines within home premises.
BSNL claimed the latest limited Fixed Mobile Telephony (FMT) service is "different" from the contentious Fixed Mobile Telephony service it announced last year but was forced to put on hold following a vehement opposition from cellular operators.
"The earlier service allowed customers on roaming in India and overseas to connect their landlines through mobile and make calls through them...But this service is restricted within the home premises," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava told PTI.
Shrivastava said he did not anticipate any objection to this "restricted" service. To avail the service, customers will need BSNL's landline, mobile, broadband connectivity.
"Landline subscribers find it inconvenient to fetch the contact details from mobiles and then dial the number on fixed line...This service will turn mobile handset into a cordless device within the home premises, which means that customers can still avail the attractive landline tariffs of BSNL like free calls on Sundays and night time calling," Shrivastava pointed out.
A BSNL statement said that the "smartphone needs to download the app and with connectivity with BSNL broadband modem (say on Wi-Fi), customer can receive and also be able to make outgoing calls...on smartphone handsets. This service is in no way linked with mobile operator service or customer SIM in mobile handset," the statement clarified.
The limited FMT service can be availed as add-on service, the statement said adding that separate telephone number will be provided to customer to avail this service. Limited FMT call charges will be as applicable for basic service, it pointed out.
On the mobile TV offering, the company said that BSNL mobile users need to download Ditto TV app from the play store, install it on mobile, register and then start using the service, which is available on subscription basis at Rs 20 per month and is also bundled with Data Special Tariff Voucher for recharge of Rs 223.
Ditto TV is a mobile TV service wherein subscribers can view live TV for over 80 channels including HD channels. The service has multiscreen option as it can be viewed on both iOS and Android devices, that is, mobile, tablet, TV or on PC.