Telcos offer free data to help people connect 

MB Subba

To help subscribers stay connected with their loved ones, the two telecom companies have offered more than one giga-byte free data to each subscriber.

Bhutan Telecom (BT) on August 17 announced that it would credit free data of 1,110MB yesterday to the accounts of all its subscribers.

The only private cellular company, TashiCell, also yesterday morning came up with a more attractive offer – Nu 50 talk time and 1,024MB data for free.

However, many subscribers of both BT and TashiCell, who had thanked the companies in advance for the offer, said that they had not received the offer even by yesterday evening.

The service providers clarified that they could not credit all the numbers due to the large volume of subscribers and requested the subscribers to be patient.

Chief Executive Officer of BT, Karma Jurme, said that all subscribers would receive. “We have clarified on our social media account,” he said.

The BTL on its official Facebook page stated that it received numerous queries as to when the free data will be credited.

“BT has already started provisioning data to users’ accounts. Due to the large volume of BT subscribers, all numbers have currently been queued. Everyone will receive the data by the end of the day,” it stated yesterday afternoon.

TashiCell also stated in the evening that it had started provisioning free data and talk time but that it could not credit the “freebies” to all the subscribers on the first day itself.

“The freebies shall get credited and you will be notified through two SMSes – one for the talk time and another for the data,” the company stated on its official Facebook page.

Company officials said they were yet to see in detail as to how much the freebies would cost for the companies. The BT CEO said that the offer would be given to all active users.

A rough calculation shows that BT is estimated to provide a total of around Nu 41 million (M) in free data as it has about 415,570 active subscribers.

Similarly, TashiCell’s free data and talk time offer could be worth about Nu 37M although the exact worth of free data and talk time it will provide are not known.

TashiCell has over 242,550 active subscribers, according to the statistical bulletin of the information and communications ministry for the second quarter of 2020.

The total number of mobile subscriptions were 465,085 for Bhutan Telecom and 295,475 for TashiCell as of July.

The figures, however, include 49,525 and 53,925 passive subscribers for Bhutan Telecom and TashiCell respectively. Passive users are those that are still registered with the operators but have not been in use for three months.

Mobile cellular subscriptions jumped by 24,558 in the second quarter of 2020.

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