Minister asks BSNL to recapture mobile market share

New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS) Communications and Information Technology Minister A. Raja Tuesday asked top officials of state-owned telecommunications major Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. to rework its marketing strategy with emphasis on rural markets to recapture lost market share in the mobile segment.

Raja told a meeting of the heads of the BSNL circle officers that the country’s rural tele-density at 11 percent was much lower than the targeted 30 per cent.

Support TwoCircles

Expressing concern at BSNL’s dwindling mobile segment market share, Raja said targeting rural customers to help bridge the digital divide was a challenge and also an opportunity for the company.

Asking the managers to work out new strategies to ensure the growth of BSNL’s market share, he advised them to concentrate on cellular and broadband services.

The minister was,however, confident that BSNL will continue to contribute more than 50 percent in achieving a national target of 20 million broadband connections by 2010.

Raja asked the officers to pay urgent attention to quality of service, customer care and quick response to the needs of customers in order to beat the fresh challenges which are likely to arise out of the impending launch of Number Portability.

Further, he called for more intelligent financial management for better profit margins, keeping down costs, efficient utilization of capital assets, increasing revenue through sharing of infrastructure and reduction of outstanding dues.

On the manpower front, Raja said the officials need to be imparted special training in customer care and skills.

Besides, he said, BSNL could improve its value added services (VAS) to meet customer aspirations and increase revenue.

He called upon BSNL to ensure immediate rollout of 3G and WI-MAX services based on the spectrum already allocated to it by the government.

India’s telecom network has more than 340 million telephones. Some 43.37 million connections have been provided in just five months during the current year.