July 24: State-owned network operator BSNL is aiming to sell a total of 10,000 satellite phones by the end of the current financial year. The company is expecting to soar up the sales with the backing of a fresh demand from corporate and states for the premium satellite service.
BSNL launched its satellite phone services during last year, and has sold 4,000 units until now to various sectors including defense, army, Border Security Force (BSF), disaster management agencies, ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), Railways etc. Additionally, BSNL has also been offering the service to some in the private sector.
Unlike regular network that relies on terrestrial signals, satellite phones make use of services via satellite to establish the network connections, making it suitable for situations and locations where terrestrial communication fails to deliver. Practically, satellite phones can offer network connection no matter where the user is. It can also be operated from inside flights and ships.
BSNL’s satellite services are offered at a premium call charge of Rs 25-30 per minute. The company has till now gained over Rs100 crore revenue through its satellite service offering, which is enough to retain its annualized business at Rs100 crore.
But that’s not stopping BSNL, and the network operator is ready to dive deep into the potential growth of satellite services. After having targeted the government sectors at first, BSNL is now also looking into non-government outfits to cater with its satellite service. This includes services like hotels, fishing trawlers, etc.
BSNL Chairman Anupam Shrivastava has been quoted as saying that the fishing industry could grow to become the biggest users of satellite phone. States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu had already shown interest for the satellite phones from BSNL.