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While big private players such as Airtel and Vodafone Idea are losing steam to counter Reliance Jio's every growing user-based, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is maintaining a strong fight. In the latest development, the latter has launched a new Rs 899 prepaid tariff plan with lucrative offers in select regions of India.

BSNL's new Rs 899 pack offers unlimited national calling (local and STD), 1.5GB data allowance per day, 50 SMSs per day with validity for 180 days (six months).

In total, consumers will get than 270GB internet, which is a far better deal than Reliance Jio's Rs 1,999 tariff plan. The latter offers just 125GB for 180 days, less than 700MB per day.

Logo of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) painted on a wall outside its office in Kolkata
[Representational Image] BSNL launches new Rs 899 half-yearly tariff plan in India. In Picture: A woman speaks on her mobile phone in front of the logo of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) painted on a wall outside its office in Kolkata, India.REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

However, BSNL's new Rs 899 is currently available in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana only. Probably, BSNL might want to know the response from the public and then expand to other regions in India.

BSNL should not waste time releasing these kinds of tariff plans, as the competition is very stiff in India and private players can change strategies quickly. Airtel, which had no yearly plan prior, launched one for Rs 1699 prepaid pack, earlier this week, to compete against Reliance Jio. With government backing, BSNL has a better chance to fight Reliance Jio.

Reliance Jio
A woman checks her mobile phone as she walks past a mobile store of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, India.REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

Last week, BSNL revised Rs 399 tariff plan to offer 3.21 GB per day for 74 days (total 237.54GB), that's more than double than the original plan. With this, consumers are entitled to get free calling (local & STD), 100 SMSs per day and zero national roaming charges. This is valid for limited period only and will conclude this month on January 31, after which the data and calling benefits will be reversed to the old original plan.