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Breaking News : BSNL offers inter-state calls at local rates
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State-run BSNL upped the stakes in the telecom tariff war today with the announcement of flat local rates for all inter-state calls made using its fixed landlines, signalling that the end of the subscriber trunk dialling (STD) era is drawing near.

BSNL said that calls made by its subscribers to landlines of any operator across the country will now be treated as local calls and charged at the rate of Re 1 for every three minutes, without any tariff voucher or special scheme.

This could be a game-changer in the highly competitive Indian telecom industry, as STD call rates were substantially higher than local call charges, since they were based on the distance between the caller and receiver.

"From December 1, all BSNL fixed line customers will be able to call any fixed or wireless local loop (WLL) customers across the country at the same cost of Re 1 per three minutes," BSNL's Chief General Manager for the Bengal Telecom circle, Soumya Ray, said.

However, calls made to non-landline numbers on other operators' networks will be charged at the rate of Re 1 per 1 minute pulse.

Calcutta Telephones CGM A K Garg said a customer earlier had to ask for the STD facility if it was not activated on their landlines. "However, we are going to review it, as now there is no tariff issue," he said.


Garg said the new scheme will help BSNL arrest the decline in demand for landline connections. BSNL lost around 40,000 landline connections in the Calcutta Telecom circle last year.

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