State-run BSNL,in partnership with SIS Infosystems,today launched telephones with video calling facility which will primarily be used to set up public Video Call Offices by replacing many of the PCOs.
“We will convert existing Public Call Offices (PCOs) to VCOs with these phones. People will be able to make voice calls to any phone and video calls to any other IP (internet based) phone,” BSNL Chairman and Managing Director R K Upadhyay told reporters here.
He said that most of the revenue of BSNL comes from landline phones and this new services is one of the initiative to increase company’s revenue.
BSNL will charge Rs 3 for 45 second video call made fromVCO which will include 30 per cent commission for the franchise owner.
“There will be no need to use computers for making video calls for user of these video phones,” Upadhyay said.
BSNL’s Senior General Manager for Broadband,A K Jain said that around 770 PCOs have confirmed to shift their business to VCOs and the target is to have 10,000 VCOs set-up across the country.
The service was inaugurated by Advisor to Prime Minister Sam Pitroda who stressed on the use of video phones to reach rural masses.
“It will bridge the gap between urban and rural India. This will be a platform for growth as this network can be used for purposes like job interview,tele-medicine,
tele-education and host of other services,” Pitroda said.
BSNL will provide various categories of VCO franchisees based on the services that a franchisee owners wants to provide.
SIS officials said that people looking for franchisee will have to pay for VCO devices which starts from Rs 25,000 and will have to sign an agreement for the business.
An official said VCOs having medical devices attached to it for remote diagnosis of a patient will also be made available. Many other services will be launched shortly for
which prices will differ.