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Over 4k Wi-Fi hotspots installed, out of proposed 25k, at BSNL exchanges in rural areas: Govt


Wi-Fi hotspots are being set up in 25,000 telephone exchanges of BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited ) in rural areas, the government revealed in parliament.

Rural telephone exchanges of BSNL equipped with Wi-Fi facilities under the USOF Schemes are around 4466. Whereas the number of rural telephone exchanges at which public Wi-Fi facility is proposed to be provided is 20534.

The govt response came when asked whether it has prepared an action plan to provide public Wi-Fi facility at telephone exchanges of BSNL in rural areas.

On the basis of the list of rural Telephone Exchanges ascertained by BSNL, this scheme has been approved in DOT. The funds have been provided by USOF to BSNL for the implementation of the scheme, the response added.

Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, in a reply, said that as part of Bharat net programme last mile connectivity and broadband technology are being provided at gram panchayats in the country.

Meanwhile, both Central Public Sector Enterprises MTNL and BSNL earning and expenditure fell sharply. BSNL has been declared Incipient Sick for its consecutive losses in last three years.

In the financial year 2017-18, its income hovered around Rs 27818 crore in compare to Rs 31533 crore in previous year. However, it managed to curtail its losses by Rs 1 crore.

Financial figure of BSNL

Since Reliance Jio’s entry, the govt backed telco has been affected by the price war among telcos. Recently, BSNL came up with new offerings to keep its existing user base and attract new subscribers. BSNL started a VoIP internet calling service which will enable the users in rural and remote places with no cellular connectivity to make calls over the internet. The full-fledged offering of Wings will be rolled out from August 1.

Customers will have to pay a one-time registration fee of Rs 1,099 to make and receive calls using broadband, Wi-Fi, 4G, or the 3G Internet. BSNL also brought a new prepaid landline connection and free landline connection.

the govt-backed telco also plans to issue STVs for this service with the price of STVs starting as low as Rs 11 and going as high as Rs 199. Notably, all the STVs will offer unlimited calling to any network in India.

In May this year BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava BSNL  said that telecom firm will swing into profit in the financial year 2019-20, a year later than previously estimated due to fall in tariffs and market disruption.

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