CHENNAI: Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, BSNL will launch India Golden 50′ scheme to take Indian mobile telephony into the sub-one rupee tariff
structure. The scheme, for mobile phone
users, would see STD or long distance call rates drop to 50 paise a minute.

Launching BSNL’s 3G services through video-conferencing from his hospital bed, Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi also rolled out the India Golden 50′ scheme. The scheme will be launched for pre-paid mobile services on March 1.

Charges for India Golden 50′ will be Rs 375 plus applicable taxes with free talk value of Rs 50. In addition, customers can make local and STD calls to selected BSNL numbers at the rate of 20 paise and 30 paise per minute respectively. Each SMS will be charged at 50 paise.

BSNL has also tweaked its landline plans. The hitherto 60-second pulse for a call has been doubled to 120 seconds. This effectively allows the caller to speak twice the time at the same tariff. “We will double the pulse rate to 120 seconds for a call. The effective call rates will become 50 paise per minute,” BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal told reporters.

At the 3G launch, Union minister for IT and communications A Raja said the department of telecom will introduce mobile
number portability (MNP) in major cities by August, for which bids have been floated to have the MNP switches in place.

This service, will allow subscribers to migrate from one operator to another without changing numbers.

Teledensity the number of phones for every 100 people has increased from 12.74% in 2006 to 34% in January 2009, showing an annual growth of 50%. The ministry has also taken a major decision for infrastructure sharing among operators to take mobile telephony to the interiors of the country, the telecom
minister said.

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