BSNL strikes gold with auctioning of fancy numbers - The New Indian Express

BSNL strikes gold with auctioning of fancy numbers

Published: 13th October 2013 12:18 PM

Last Updated: 13th October 2013 12:18 PM

BSNL seems to have struck gold with fancy numbers fetching them the lucre through auctioning. On September 30 a fancy number was put on auction.

“The number put on the auction block was 20002000 and the cutoff date for auction was October 7, 2013. This was pushed to October 17, thanks to multiple requests from various bidders. There were 125 quotes till the 7th, of which four crossed Rs 25 lakh. The highest quote went up to Rs 29 lakh and we expect an amount close to Rs 1 crore to be quoted within the deadline,” said S Jyothi Sankar, general manager, Chennai Telephones, BSNL.

He also said that 1,300 mobile numbers were put on auction, of which around 40 fetched Rs 3.73 lakh. On eauction.bsnl.co.in, where the auctions take place, bidders can register by paying Rs100 using a debit or credit card.

This is followed by the verification of the bidder’s credentials. Officials say call taxi operators who own around 2,000 vehicles, along with universities/colleges are usually the highest bidders in cities like Chennai.

Compared to Chennai, the interest in vanity number auctions is rather tepid in Kerala, where BSNL has 72 lakh mobile connections and 28 lakh landline connections. Around 10,000 mobile numbers which were billed fancy have been blocked, which means these numbers are available only through auctions. 

According to some people, the lackadaisical attitude of the people in the state is thanks to BSNL’s ‘unenthusiastic’ marketing strategies. But the story in many other states has been the same as Kerala. Interestingly, Fayaz, who is languishing in the jail for smuggling gold, had been reportedly using a non-BSNL fancy number which he bought for an exorbitant sum.

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