State-run BSNL lost about 20 million subscribers in the last financial year as the telecom operator could not match likely to attak marketing by private operators besides opposition issues related to coverage and quality of its services.
According to an official in the Department of Telecom, BSNL lost about 17.8 million wireless and over 2 million wireline subscribers between March 2014 and March 2015. Stating the reasons responsible for the loss of wireless subscribers, the official said BSNL was not able to match the aggressive marketing of services by private telecom operators.
Also, the official added that due to the PSU’s inability to invest in upgradation of its network during the period 2008-2012, there were issues related to mobile network coverage, capacity and quality of service.
“The reasons for decline in wireline subscriber base include the general decline in demand for fixed lines telephone on account of shift to mobile services,” he said.
At the end of May 2015, the wireless subscriber base of BSNL stood at 77.6 million with a market share of 7.96 percent. The wireline base stood at 16.0 million with a market share of 61.07 percent.
The company, however, is taking various steps to increase its subscriber base and revenue through investments in network and improve quality of service.
As a part of its phase 7 project, the company will be investing Rs. 4,804.77 crores in network augmentation which will result in addition of 14,421 2G sites and 10,605 3G sites across the country.
Apart from that, BSNL has taken a number of initiatives to attract customers which include unlimited free night calls from landline, free incoming calls on roaming and a host of different special plans.