Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (March 2013)|
|Founded||15 September 2000|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
|Key people||A.N Rai (Chairman & MD)|
|Services||Fixed line and mobile telephony, Internet services, digital television, IPTV|
|Owners||Government of India|
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (abbreviated BSNL) is an Indian state-owned telecommunications company headquartered in New Delhi, India. It was incorporated on 15 September 2000. It took over the business of providing of telecom services and network management from the erstwhile Central Government Departments of Telecom Services (DTS) and Telecom Operations (DTO), with effect from 1 October 2000 on going concern basis. It is the largest provider of fixed telephony and fourth largest mobile telephony provider in India, and is also a provider of broadband services. However, in recent years the company's revenue and market share plunged into heavy losses due to intense competition in the Indian telecommunications sector.
BSNL is India's oldest and largest communication service provider (CSP). It had a customer base of 117 million as of Jan 2014. It has footprints throughout India except for the metropolitan cities of Mumbai and New Delhi, which are managed by Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL).
BSNL provides almost every telecom service in India. Following are the main telecom services provided by BSNL:
- Optical Infrastructure and DWDM : BSNL owns the biggest OFC network in India. Also the DWDM network is one of the biggest in the world. The DWDM equipments purchased in open tender at BSNL are mainly of United Telecoms Limited ( UTL) ) make, which was declared lowest cost in competitive bidding. Rest DWDM equipments are from Huawei. The SDH equipments are mainly from Huawei, ZTE, ECI, UT STAR etc.
- Market Share : As of 30 November 2013, BSNL had 12.9% marketshare in India and stands as 5th Telecom Operator in India and 67% market share in ADSL Services.
- Managed Network Services : BSNL is providing complete Telecom Services Solution to the Enterprise Customers i.e. MPLS Connectivity, Point to Point Leased Lines and Internet Leased Lines .
- Universal Telecom Services : Fixed wireline services and landline in local loop (WLL) using CDMA Technology called bfone and Tarang respectively. As of 30 June 2010, BSNL had 75% marketshare of fixed lines.
- Cellular Mobile Telephone Services: BSNL is major provider of Cellular Mobile Telephone services using GSM platform under the brand name Cellone & Excel (BSNL Mobile). As of 30 June 2010 BSNL has 13.50% share of mobile telephony in the country. It has 95.54 million customers using BSNL mobile.
- WLL-CDMA Telephone Services: BSNL's WLL (Wireless in Local Loop) service is a service giving both fixed line telephony & Mobile telephony.
- Internet: BSNL provides Internet access services through dial-up connection (as Sancharnet through 2009) as Prepaid, NetOne as Postpaid and ADSL broadband as BSNL Broadband BSNL held 55.76% of the market share with reported subscriber base of 9.19 million Internet subscribers with 7.79% of growth at the end of March 2010. Top 12 Dial-up Service providers, based on the subscriber base, It Also Provides Online Games via its Games on Demand (GOD)
- Intelligent Network (IN): BSNL offers value-added services, such as Free Phone Service (FPH), India Telephone Card (Prepaid card), Account Card Calling (ACC), Virtual Private Network (VPN), Tele-voting, Premium Rae Service (PRM), Universal Access Number (UAN).
- 3G:BSNL offers the '3G' or the'3rd Generation' services which includes facilities like video calling, mobile broadband, live TV, 3G Video portal, streaming services like online full length movies and video on demand etc.
- IPTV:BSNL also offers the 'Internet Protocol Television' facility which enables customers to watch television through internet.
- FTTH:Fibre To The Home facility that offers a higher bandwidth for data transfer. This idea was proposed on post-December 2009
- Helpdesk: BSNL's Helpdesk (Helpdesk) provide help desk support to their customers for their services.
- VVoIP: BSNL, along with Sai Infosystem - an Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) provider - has launched Voice and Video Over Internet Protocol (VVoIP). This will allow to make audio as well as video calls to any landline, mobile, or IP phone anywhere in the world, provided that the requisite video phone equipment is available at both ends.
- WiMax: BSNL has introduced India's first 4th Generation High-Speed Wireless Broadband Access Technology with the minimum speed of 256kbit/s. The focus of this service is mainly rural customer where the wired broadband facility is not available.
BSNL is divided into a number of administrative units termed as telecom circles, metro districts, project circles and specialized units. It has 24 telecom circles, 2 metro districts, 6 project circles, 4 maintenance regions, 5 telecom factories, 3 training institutions and 4 specialized telecom units.
BSNL, then known as the Department of Telecommunications, had been a near monopoly during the socialist period of the Indian economy. During this period, BSNL was the only telecom service provider in the country. MTNL was present only in Mumbai and New Delhi. During this period BSNL operated as a typical state-run organization, inefficient, slow, bureaucratic, and heavily unionised. As a result subscribers had to wait for as long as five years to get a telephone connection. The corporation tasted competition for the first time after the liberalisation of Indian economy in 1991. Faced with stiff competition from the private telecom service providers, BSNL has subsequently tried to increase efficiencies itself. DoT veterans, however, put the onus for the sorry state of affairs on the Government policies, where in all state-owned service providers were required to function as mediums for achieving egalitarian growth across all segments of the society. The corporation (then DoT), however, failed to achieve this and India languished among the most poorly connected countries in the world. BSNL was born in 2000 after the corporatisation of DoT. The corporatisation of BSNL was undertaken by an external international consulting team consisting of a consortium of A.F.Ferguson & Co, JB Dadachanji and NM Rothschild - and was probably the most complex corporatisation exercise of its kind ever attempted anywhere because of the quantum of assets (said to be worth USD 50 Billion in terms of breakup value) and over half a million directly and indirectly employed staff. Satish Mehta, who led the team later confessed that one big mistake made by the consortium was to recommend the continuation of the state and circle based geographical units which may have killed the synergies across regions and may have actually made the organisation less efficient than had it been a seamless national organisation. Vinod Vaish, then Chairman of the Telecom Commission made a very bold decision to promote younger talent from within the organisation to take up a leadership role and promoted the older leaders to a role in licensing rather than in managing the operations of BSNL. The efficiency of the company has since improved, however, the performance level is nowhere near the private players.
The corporation remains heavily unionised and is comparatively slow in decision making and its implementation, which largely acts at the instances of unions without bothering about outcome. Management has been reactive to the schemes of private telecom players. Though it offers services at lowest tariffs, the private players continue to notch up better numbers in all areas, years after year. BSNL has been providing connections in both urban and rural areas. Pre-activated Mobile connections are available at many places across India. BSNL has also unveiled cost-effective broadband internet access plans (DataOne) targeted at homes and small businesses. At present BSNL enjoy's around 60% of market share of ISP services.
2007 was declared as "Year of Broadband" in India and BSNL announced plans for providing 5 million broadband connectivity by the end of 2007. BSNL upgraded Dataone connections for a speed of up to 2 Mbit/s without any extra cost. This 2 Mbit/s broadband service was provided by BSNL at a cost of just US$ 11.7 per month (as of 21 July 2008 and at a limit of 2.5GB monthly limit with 0200-0800 hrs as no charge period). Further, BSNL is rolling out new broadband services such as triple play. BSNL planned to increase its customer base to 108 million customers by 2010. With the frantic activity in the communication sector in India, the target appears achievable.
BSNL is a pioneer of rural telephony in India. BSNL has recently bagged 80% of US$ 580 m (INR 25 billion) Rural Telephony project of Government of India.
On 20 March 2009 BSNL advertised the launch of blackcherry services across its Telecom circles in India. The corporation has also launched 3G services in select cities across the country. Presently, BSNL and MTNL are the only players to provide 3G services, as the Government of India has completed auction of 3G services for private players. BSNL shall get 3G bandwidth at lowest bidder prices of Rs 185 billion, which includes Rs 101.86 billion for 3G and Rs 83.13 billion for BWA.
As of December 2011, many other private operators have started rolling out their 3rd Generation (aka 3G) services alongside and are enjoying some success in their campaigns to get market share. While BSNL still maintains its connectivity standard and expands to many more areas including rural areas with their 3G services. Also the network infrastructure has been upgraded from to provide 3.6 Mbit/s to 7.2 MBits/sec. It is enjoying a slow but somewhat steady success in gaining market share in this regard.
The introduction of MNP(Mobile Number Portability) which is an service that lets the consumer change wireless service providers while retaining their actual mobile number, BSNL has seen many customers opting for this service to move away from the services to other operators. Despite this as the Indian Wireless market grows BSNL still has a loyal base of subscribers and many more subscribers being added to it every day. This provides customer services for 95 million as of June 2011.
BSNL announced the discontinuation of its telegram services from 15 July 2013, after 160 years in service. It was opened to the public in February 1855; in 2010 it was upgraded to a web-based messaging system in 2010, through 182 telegraph offices across India.
During the financial year 2008–09 (from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009) BSNL has added 8.1 million new customers in various telephone services taking its customer base to 75.9 million. BSNL's nearest competitor Bharti Airtel is standing at a customer base of 62.3 million. However, despite impressive growth shown by BSNL in recent times, the Fixed line customer base of BSNL is declining. In order to woo back its fixed-line customers BSNL has brought down long distance calling rate under OneIndia plan, however, the success of the scheme is not known and BSNL faces bleak fiscal 2009-2010 as users flee.
Presently there is an intense competition in Indian Telecom sector and various Telcos are rolling out attractive schemes and are providing good customer services. But situation as on 2012, BSNL will be third largest operator (Service) and No 1 access operator in the country. As per the TRAI Report 2011-12, BSNL became the most trustworthy brand due to its loyalty towards customers and its rule.
Access Deficit Charges (ADC, a levy being paid by the private operators to BSNL for providing service in non-lucrative areas, especially rural areas) has been slashed by 20% by TRAI, w.e.f. 1 April 2009. The reduction in ADC may hit the profits of BSNL.
BSNL has started 3G services in 290 cities and acquired more than 600,000 customers. It has planned to roll out 3G services in 760 cities across the country in 2010-11. according to users and big sources BSNL's 3G data speed is much higher than other operator and also it is competitively cheap.
Broadband services: The shift in demand from voice to data has revolutionized the very nature of the network. BSNL is poised to cash on this opportunity and has planned for extensive expansion of the Broadband services. The Broadband customer base of 3.56 Million customer in March'2009 is planned to be increased to 16.00 million by March 2014. On 13 June 2012, BSNL employees participated called off an earlier planned nationwide strike against discriminatory policies of BSNL management upon promise by Management to resolve the Demands of the protesting unions.
BSNL - MTNL Merger Plans
On 23 February 2011, The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said it wanted to revive a proposal for the merger of state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL. In its draft plan, the department while showing concern over the deteriorating performance of BSNL and MTNL said that BSNL and MTNL should be merged as they have complimentary operations and can combine their strengths for synergies. DoT said the government should set up a multi-stakeholder committee to develop a restructuring plan for both firms. The committee should have members from public enterprises, the DoT, department of IT and ministry of finance. However, the BSNL's staff unions are opposing this merger tooth and nail realising that MTNL is in dire state and need help of its big brother, BSNL, to alleviate itself from getting into red balance sheet. MTNL in spite of having its operations in two big metro cities viz. New Delhi & Mumbai is realising cascading fall in revenue and profits for the past 10 successive years. The telecommunication operators should focus on enterprise business, services to government and the public sector, value-added services and technologies like 3G, the department recommends.
While it did not participate in the 3G auction, BSNL paid the Indian government Rs. 101.87 billion for 3G spectrum in all 20 circles it operates in. State-owned MTNL provides 3G services in the other 2 circles - Delhi and Mumbai. Both these state-owned operators were given a head start by the government in the 3G space by allotting the required 3G spectrum, on the condition that each will have to pay an amount which will be equivalent to the highest bid in the respective service areas as and when the 3G auctions take place. BSNL recently launched a 3G wireless pocket router named Winknet Mf50 for 5800/- Indian rupees. It was released in collaboration with another telecom service provider Shyam networks. Winknet Mf50 enables you to connect multiple devices to the internet using a single sim card.
BSNL has the largest 3G network in India. Additionally, BSNL 3G services usually cover not only the main town/city but also the adjoining suburbs and rural areas as well. As of now BSNL has 3G services in 826 cities across India. The following is a list of BSNL 3G enabled towns/cities. This list covers only BSNL 3G services provided through HSDPA/HSUPA and HSPA+ for GSM subscribers and not EVDO for CDMA subscribers.
The Brand Trust Report published by Trust Research Advisory ranked BSNL in the 65th position of the list of Most Trusted brands.
BSNL competes with 14 other mobile operators throughout India. They are Aircel, Airtel, Idea, Loop Mobile, MTNL, MTS, Reliance Communications, Tata DoCoMo, Uninor, Videocon, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone.
Quality of Service
BSNL goes by the motto "Connecting India, faster" and displays the same at their homepage. BSNL offers seamless coverage in almost all urban and rural areas of India.
BSNL enforces censorship of online content as per orders of Indian Department of Telecom.
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