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BSNL slashes ISD rates to US, Canada, Gulf

With the drop in rates, the state-run telecom major BSNL hopes to scale up volumes in USA, Canada and Gulf.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2007 18:00 IST

Triggering another price war in the ISD segment, state-run telecom major BSNL has reduced call rates to the US, Canada and the Gulf to Rs 1.75 per minute and Rs 6.75 per minute, respectively, slightly lower than the rates offered by private firms.

USA, Canada and Gulf are the busiest ISD routes from India and with the drop of rates, BSNL hopes to scale up volumes, a senior BSNL official said.

Private players at present offer ISD calls at the rate of Rs 1.99 per minute to the US and Rs 6.99 a minute for the Gulf countries.

BSNL will soon introduce a new STD/ISD calling card, Call Now, that will enable a user can call someone in the US at the rate of Rs 1.75 per minute using a card of Rs 2,000, which will have a validity of three months.

Call charges in the same card are Rs 3.25 a minute to France, Russia, the UK and South-East Asia, Rs 5.50 per minute to the rest of Europe and Sri Lanka, and Rs 8 a minute to the rest of the world.

Under this plan, local and STD charges are Re 1 per minute.

In May, leading private player Bharti Airtel dropped ISD charges to the US and Canada where a Airtel mobile user could call at Rs 1.99 per minute with the Airtel STD and ISD Calling Card worth Rs 2,245.

Reliance Communications also had cut its rates to the US and Canada to Rs 1.99 per minute on its 'Reliance Global Call Card' of Rs 1,900. The Anil Ambani group company had recently cut call charges to the Gulf to Rs 6.

First Published: Jun 10, 2007 17:58 IST