State-owned telecom firm BSNL is eyeing about Rs.500 crore in the next one year from the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) line of business.
A new class of players, virtual network operators or VNOs are entities providing telecom services like mobile, landline and internet but only as retailers for full-fledged telecom operators such as BSNL, MTNL and Airtel.
BSNL today announced a partnership with digital payment provider ADPAY for roll-out of national VNO and MVNO services under the latter's brand AEROVOYCE.
BSNL said it is in talks with a handful of other such entities, and the MVNO business is expected to account for 5 per cent of the corporations' mobile revenue.
"A few companies are talking to us. Our target is that for the first year, the MVNO business – which is based on revenue share – should bring us nearly Rs 500 crore. That is the potential," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said.
BSNL is also planning to roll out one lakh Wifi hotspots in the next 1.5-2 years, he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the new MVNO `AEROVOYCE' will use the spectrum from BSNL, and offer voice, data and mobile value added services.
"We will be investing Rs 300 crore in the next three years for our MVNO services," Sivakumar Kuppusamy, CEO of ADPAY said.
AEROVOYCE will focus on Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Its services will start from Tamil Nadu circle shortly, and expand to 22 circles or service areas in the next one year. It is targeting one lakh customers in the first quarter of service launch.
The products that will be offered by AEROVOYCE include SIMCARD (voice, data, mobile internet), Fiber Internet, Broadband internet, and international traveller's SIM cards.
Last year, the Telecom Department released licence guidelines for VNOs, opening the door for new class of players who will act like retailers for telecom service providers.
The entry of VNOs is expected to push down cost of providing telecom services for companies, and bring attractive offers into the market.
"The MVNO will ride on our network and provide voice and data services, and can fill certain gaps that BSNL faces in outreach to customers," Shrivastava said.