While private telcos are pushing each other to lead Internet Telephony in India, government-owned BSNL has taken the pole position with the soft launch of its internet calling product.
This is the significant move by the oldest telecom in the country where private players like Vodafone, Airtel, and Jio have already been testing the service. The move will also give an edge to BSNL which is planning pan-India 5G rollout by 2020.
The company has announced the soft launch of Wings, the company’s first Internet telephony service in India. This service enables users to put landline on the mobile instrument to make it mobile, and use all the facility of the mobile handset like address book, conference call etc.
The full-fledged offering of Wings will be rolled out from August 1. Customers will have to pay a one-time registration fee of Rs 1,099 to make and receive calls using broadband, Wi-Fi, 4G, or the 3G Internet. Video calling is supported for Wings-to-Wings calls only.
To make a call, customers will have to open the app and dial the number from their phone address book through the app. The app will also be configurable on smart devices (like laptop/smart mobile handset/tablet) having internet.
Besides, BSNL announced Landline Broadband with 20 GB data offer per day. It will offer 20 GB data at 20 Mbps every day. The subscribers will also be allowed to make unlimited voice calls to any network.
The plan with Rs 491 now is available across their customer service centers, franchises, and retailers, said NK Mehta, Director (CFA) of BSNL Board while announcing the scheme on Twitter.
Press Release: #BSNL is pleased to announce Landline Broadband with 20 GB data offer per day. At Rs.491 per month this plan is the ‘’MOST ECONOMIC BROADBAND” plan in India today. pic.twitter.com/s6pKjqj10S
Meanwhile, the development comes after TRAI recommendations to Department of Telecom (DoT) to open Internet telephony in India.
Notably, the rules framed by TRAI allows only authorised licensed holders to provide full-fledged internet telephony and not over-the-top players like WhatsApp and Google Duo, that allow only app-to-app calling.
Currently, Internet telephony only possible between devices having SIM cards and between same apps. Users can make an app to app calls but not from app to landline or app to mobile as telecom operators.
As the service is going to disrupt the OTT players, they will be looking for an interconnected agreement with the government to provide cross mobile telephony option.