BSNL eyes 2.2 cr mobile subscribers next fiscal

BSNL eyes 2.2 cr mobile subscribers next fiscal

Bangalore: State-owned BSNL plans to add 22 million (2.2 crore) cell phone subscribers in the next fiscal (2010-11) even as it eyes a foray into the mobile banking and advertising space, a key official said.

“Next year (2010-11) we are keeping a target of 22 million mobile connections - 20 million 2G connections and two million 3G," Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited’s director (consumer mobility) RK Agarwal told PTI.

For the current financial year (2009-10), BSNL’s aim is 1.8 million mobile connections, of which it had already achieved 1.4 million, he said, adding, mobile services business for the year ending 31 March was expected to be Rs10,500 crore.

Agarwal said BSNL currently had 8.5 lakh 3G mobile subscribers, a number that’s set to go up to one million (ten lakh) by next month-end. Average revenue per user (ARPU) from 3G subscribers is 40% more than their 2G counterparts.

BSNL had commercially rolled out 3G mobile services in 318 cities of the country. This would go up to 760 cities by March next year, he said.

According to him, the price of 3G mobile handset is going to come down from the present Rs7,000-Rs8,000 to Rs4,000. Regulatory support coupled with auctioning of 3G spectrum would lead to “real competition" in this space and a host of content services and applications would be be customized in local languages and for local needs.