BY MARCH next, rural India can get phones on demand. That’s what Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) CMD AK Sinha announced during his visit to the city today.
Talking to reporters Sinha said the BSNL had fixed an ambitious target of giving 1 crore new telephone connections every year from the current year.
The CMD, who was here to hold a meeting with chief general managers of all the circles under the North Zone, said the country’s tele-density was only 13 per cent and it could be extended to 30 per cent. He said the BSNL gave 82 lakh connections including basic, mobile and WLL, last year.
He said to increase tele-density the BSNL has eye on rural areas. Sinha said there were around 14000 villages in the country where satellite telephone connections would be given as the local conditions did not allow installation of normal phones.
He said the department had special focus on spreading its mobile services to remote areas. He said between December 2006 and March 2007 mobile services would be extended to all villages with a population of 5000. In the next phase, villages with a population of 2000 would be targeted.
Sinha admitted there was tough competition in the telecom sector and reduction in tariffs had cut profit margins of the companies.
He said BSNL had given 7 lakh broadband connections in the country so far and claimed that UP (East) Telecom Circle was the leading circle in the country as far as number of mobile phone connections were concerned.Sinha admitted the One India tariff plan had not evoked the desired response from subscribers. He said the tariff had been slashed further under the plan to make it even more attractive.
UP (East) Telecom Circle CGM, Omvir Singh said he had chalked out a 60-days action plan to bring about an all round improvement in services including customer care.