State-owned telecom operator & ISP, BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) has been providing fiber broadband to customers across India for a while. As Jio Fiber introduced its new plans, BSNL has also geared up to offer more speed and data to its customers along with additional benefits.
BSNL has announced four new Bharat Fiber plans: Fiber Basic, Fiber Value, Fiber Premium, and Fiber Ultra. These plans will cost between ₹449 and ₹1499. As per a new circular, these plans will be effective from October 1, 2020.
New Bharat Fiber Plans
Now, the first plan is Fiber Basic that seems to be a direct competitor to the entry-level Jio Fiber plan, priced at ₹449. The Fiber Basic plan will offer speeds up to 30Mbps. The next plan is the Fiber Value plan worth ₹799 that offers 100Mbps speed. The Fiber Value plan may see a lot of traction as there are many customers who are already using the plan worth ₹777 or ₹849 for 50Mbps speed with 500GB and 600GB FUP respectively.
The Fiber Premium & Fiber Ultra Plans are quite attractive and offer speeds up to 200Mbps and 300Mbps respectively. But, along with higher speeds, the customer will also get Disney+Hostar subscriptions bundled with these two plans whereas, with Fiber Basic and Fiber Value plans, there is no bundled subscription for any OTT service. However, with the introduction of these new plans, BSNL’s Bharat Fiber may turn out to a rightful competitor in the broadband service sector in India. Along with extra data, Bharat Fiber customers can also enjoy free voice calls to anywhere in India.
All these plans will come with a FUP limit of 3300 GB which is sufficient for most users and this FUP limit is same for any other ISP including Jio and Airtel. Though Jio keeps yelling that its plans are ‘truly unlimited’, there is the 3300GB FUP cap. Jio customers after exhausting their data will get speed up to 1Mbps, whereas with BSNL’s Bharat Fiber customers will get up to 2Mbps speed for the first three plans and customers opting for the Fiber Ultra Plan will get speed up to 4Mbps post FUP.
Caveats regarding the plans
Though these plans look quite promising, there are a few caveats. BSNL has let its circles decide in which cities are these plans should be offered as the circular clearly mentions ‘It shall be ensured by the circles that above plans are offered in only those cities where challenges from the competitors exist.’ Also, the circular mentions that these plans are promotional basis valid for 90 days.
For the selection of cities, circles are responsible but looking at how Jio is aggressively expanding in every single city throughout India, most circles may decide to offer these plans to gain new customers and encourage existing customers to stay with BSNL Bharat Fiber. Also, BSNL extends the validity of many of its promotional plans, so there’s also a chance that at least entry-level plans like Fiber Basic and Fiber Value might be applicable for a longer period of time. However, these are just mere speculations but it’s sure that if customers get these plans for even a shorter period of time, they might decide to stick to Bharat Fiber instead of switching to any other ISP.