In fiscal 2001-02, the major highlight in BPL Mobile’s business was the
launch of GPRS services, which made it the first operator in the country to
offer 2.5G services. But the much-hyped service met with a very lukewarm
response, with the PRS subscriber base standing roughly at 4,000.
This was much below the projected 10,000 by the end of the fiscal.
But on the other side, BPL had its network being used to connect online
lottery kiosks in the city. And the company is now in talks with banks for using
GPRS network to provide wireless connectivity to ATMs.
The total subscriber base for the company at the end of the fiscal 2001-02
was to the tune of 454,883, with a growth of 17.8 percent over 258,453 in
2000-01. Although the company maintained its edge over its competitors on the
subscriber acquisition front, it may be recalled that in FY 2000-01, BPL
recorded a growth of 49 percent in subscriber base.
Revenue growth nose-dived to 14.36 percent from 99 percent in the previous
fiscal to reach Rs 467.3 crore. This was primarily due to the decline in ARPU
and growth in low-end subscriber base. The slow pace of migration to post-paid
has also made a dent. With roaming traffic going up and market expansion with
the entry of fourth operator, BPL is hoping for a better growth in the current