In a bid to meet the Government's target of 30 lakh broadband users by the end of the year, State-owned telecom majors MTNL and BSNL are going aggressive with low cost packages. While MTNL on Thursday indicated lowering of broadband tariffs by 50 per cent to Rs 199 per month from Rs 399, BSNL is working on a lower tariff.
Since the broadband policy was announced last year, operators, including private companies, have been able to attract only eight lakh users across the country. However, the uptake in subscriber base has been fast in the last three months with operators such as Airtel dropping broadband tariffs to as low as dial-up Internet access.
BSNL is also offering a low-cost PC bundled with its broadband connection. BSNL had recently reduced its broadband usage charges by at least 50 per cent from Rs 500 per month to Rs 250 per month for a 256-kbps connections. BSNL has also launched its Wi-Fi (wireless broadband service) for as low as 50 paise per minute. Wi-Fi is essentially used by Internet users in airports, cyber cafes and university campus.
Market analysts said that the State-owned company is all set to make its IP-based broadband service to re-define the price points in the market.
MTNL, which offers telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai, is adding 500 new broadband subscribers every day and is aiming at garnering 2,000 new users a day.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said that one of the ways to increase broadband penetration was to make it mandatory for incumbent operators to unbundle the last mile, which would enable small operators with technology to ride on BSNL's network to offer broadband in more cities.