Next time when you brag about your mobile handset worth a few thousand rupees, be careful. The person sitting next to you might possess a mobile number which may have cost him or her a few lakhs! This seems to be a bit exaggerated until we come across the amounts BSNL customers have bid for fancy numbers.
An NRI industrialist and hotelier has spent Rs13 lakh to get a mobile number ending in eight consecutive zeros. The price of the number was Rs 10.8 lakh plus the 12.3 percent surcharge. Reports say small-scale and large-scale auctions of fancy numbers occur once in two months in the state. Initially, landline numberswere given free.
BSNL started mobile number auctions in 2002, Then the auction comprised three streams -- the first one being for Rs 10,000, the second for Rs 7,000 and the third for Rs 5,000. The first stream had the last five digits similar or in an ascending or descending progression. The second and third streams were about the last four and three digits respectively. The prices for the three categories were later reduced to Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 owing to the depreciation of the rupee.
The first auction for fancy BSNL landline numbers in the country took place in Chennai on September 30 this year.