India's top telco plans to cut call charges by up to half

India's leading telecom BSNL will cut mobile and fixed-line domestic call rates by up to half, a Reuters report said.

All calls made by landline and wireless customers in local loop services will be slashed by 50%, while those made using cellular networks will be 40-50 % cheaper, BSNL, quoted by the Reuters report, said following cuts by leading competitors.

BSNL had a combined subscriber base of 72.5 million at the end of April, out of 308.5 million telephone connections nationwide.

But it lags behind Bharti Airtel , Reliance Communications and Vodafone Essar in wireless subscribers due to capacity constraints.

In April, BSNL said it plans to add 33.5 million GSM wireless lines within a year to compete with more nimble private players.

'You should have capacity. Had I cut it earlier it would not have been beneficial,' BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal told reporters when asked about the timing of the call rate cuts.

He said the firm has already ordered 25 million lines as part of its expansion project, and would start growing in all the circles it operates in from July.

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