The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fixed-phone SMS comes calling

New Delhi, Nov. 7: Fixed-line subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) in Calcutta and Bangalore can now enjoy the benefits of free short message service (SMS) on their fixed-line phones that was till now available to Touchtel customers.

However, the subscribers will have to replace their existing equipment with SMS compatible phones. The phone is available for Rs 2,200 but will cost 10 per cent less if purchased from BSNL outlets. The phones have been sourced from Bharti’s telephone instrument manufacturing arm, Beetel.

Calcutta Telephones chief general manager S. P. Chakravarty said that bids have been invited from other manufacturers and prices are likely to drop as usage increases.

The BSNL customers in the two cities can send and receive SMS from tomorrow not only between fixed to fixed subscribers but also the CellOne customers, the mobile phone service of the company. The service is now being offered free of cost.

This service will next be introduced in Hyderabad and Ahmedabad and later all over the country except for Delhi and Mumbai where another public sector telecom company, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd offers this service.

BSNL today announced another free internet scheme for its fixed-line subscribers that offers an additional fixed-line phone for its existing subscribers at flat rental of Rs 399 per month (where the existing rental is Rs 170 per month) and Rs 499 per month (where the rentals are Rs 450 per month).

“This phone is to be used for accessing free internet service only. This scheme will become operational from November 14. Under this scheme, the subscriber can enjoy dial up internet service for unlimited time without paying call charges,” said Prithipal Singh, chairman and managing director of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

In another move to retain the customers, BSNL has waived off the Rs 600 fee chargeable for shifting of telephones from one area to another.

AirTel recharge coupon

AirTel, the mobile service operator, announced the launch of an all India recharge coupon. This coupon will enable customers to buy a recharge card, anywhere in the country to top up their prepaid card.

The company also unveiled an Electronic Recharge Suite for the benefit of its prepaid customers, which enables recharging by just sending an SMS or using a bank ATM.

The company has tied up with leading banks — Citibank, HDFC, UTI, IDBI and SBI — to provide this recharge facility.

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