"The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,194.58 million at the end of March 2017 to 1,198.89 million at the end of April 2017, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.36 per cent," Trai said in its monthly subscriber report.
State-owned BSNL today expressed concern that it is likely to feel the 'stress' this financial year because of intense competition and asked the telecom department to speed up its receivables.
State-owned telecom firm BSNL is eyeing about Rs 500 crore in the next one year from the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) line of business.
The CBI had on December 9, 2016, filed a charge sheet against Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi among others, for allegedly using 764 high-speed data lines at the former's residence which were used by Sun TV channel, causing a loss of Rs 1.78 crore to the exchequer.
Satellite phones will able to work in any part of the country, even inside flights and ships, as they depend on signals directly from satellites located about 35,700 kms above the earth.
The service will cover areas where no networks are present and be provided by INMARSAT which has 14 satellites.
"Earlier, the full form of BSNL was 'Bhai Sahab Nahi Lagega', but in the last two years we have successfully removed this and replaced it with 'Behtar Seva ki Nai Lagan' (Quality service with renewed efforts) We will take this company further on the development path," the Minister of State for Telecommunication said.
The task of setting up nearly 2200 telecom towers in the first phase has been completed in a record time in all the seven Maoist-hit states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
BSNL has announced three new data plans and is offering up to 270 GB of 3G mobile internet along with unlimited voice calls for 90 days. Under the Rs 333 Triple Ace plan, BSNL is offering unlimited 3G data with a capped usage of 3 GB each day, with a validity of 90 days. This plan is offering 90 GB a month and 270 GB 3G data for three months. It is pertinent to note that this is a 3G plan.
BSNL's new plan, Triple Ace, for mobile customers priced at Rs 333 will offer unlimited data with 3G speed up to 3GB per day and remain valid for 90 days.
The minister further emphasised that prescribed limits for radiation emissions in India are more stringent than global norms.
"...Citizens have no reason to panic as mobile towers emit low level radiation, which is within the prescribed Department of Telecom, Government of India norms which makes mobile towers completely safe," COAI Director-General Rajan Mathews said in a statement.
"A total of 1,150 (4G towers) will be installed in various districts as a part of the 4 GSM expansion project to extend higher data speeds of 4G services to the customers of BSNL," Telangana Telecom Circle's Chief General Manager L Anantharam said at a press conference here yesterday.
5G is expected to launch in developed countries by 2020 and by 2022, in India.
State-run BSNL has earmarked around Rs 4,300 crore for capital expenditure in the current fiscal and plans to have 75,000 wifi hotspots by end of the next fiscal.
In an operation late last evening, the agency had arrested Gupta Chandra Bidika, Additional General Manager, Microwave Project, Bhubaneswar.
Major reasons for losses include resource crunch, low capacity utilisation, oil plant and machinery, stiff competition, weak marketing and mismanagement.
Reports say that the government is once again contemplating merging the two public sector giants MTNL and BSNL. It’s now a ritual with every government since 2002 to announce the possibility of a merger between the two companies.
The Public Enterprises Survey, tracking the performance of CPSEs in 2015-16, revealed that the top three loss-making CPSEs -- SAIL, BSNL and Air India -- incurred a loss equal to 51.65 per cent of the total loss made by the top 10 loss-making CPSEs in 2015-16.
Amid renewed push for BSNL-MTNL merger, BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava has said the combination will be "advantageous" for both the state-owned telecom firms but issues pertaining to debt and salary structure will need to be sorted out first.
"The benefits customer will get under the Combo STV (special tariff voucher) of Rs 339 are unlimited calls in BSNL network and unlimited data with fair use policy of 2 GB per day with validity of 28 days," BSNL said in a statement.
A Parliamentary panel has suggested merger of state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL for their long-term survival.
"BSNL inaugurated 100GB email storage services and the demonstration on Data Radio Service," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava tweeted.
After a hiatus of few years, the proposal to merge BSNL and MTNL is back on the discussion table with top officials at the telecom department once again 'brainstorming' on various options before the two loss-making, state-owned entities.