Phone lines

Indian land line providers and fees

Phone lines

India's fixed line network is the largest in the world. Although land line services are generally reliable, service interruptions lasting several hours can happen. With mobile solutions becoming more and more competitive, land line providers are improving their services as well.

There are many different land line providers in India and you might find it difficult to understand which company operates in which area. State-run BSNL is a safe bet, offering services nationwide.

Many providers offer fixed line, Internet and sometimes also TV connections in combination packages. These bundles are usually cheaper than having each connection installed separately.

Once you have chosen a provider it is comparatively easy to get a contract. You only need to go to one of their local shops, fill in the application form and hand in any required documents. Be aware that there are providers that only offer calls within India! You should carefully check your contract's fine print before signing.

Required application documents include the following:

  • proof of identity (passport, Indian driving license)
  • copy of your Indian visa
  • proof of address (rental contract, utility bill)

Sometimes you may be asked to hand in some passport-sized photos and most providers will also charge a small connection fee.

How long does it take to get your phone line?

Approximately one week after your order a technician will come to your place to check whether your desired connection is actually available. If it is, don’t start celebrating yet: It may then take several weeks to months (!) until your connection is finally installed and ready to use.

If you move to a place that already has a land line installed you should try to take over the connection instead of applying for a new one. This will reduce waiting times and save you connection fees. In order to take over the land line you should make sure the previous owner does not have any outstanding payments with the provider, otherwise you risk inheriting his bills. You will also need a letter from the previous owner stating that you are allowed to take over the connection. Usually, your landlord can provide you with contact information of the previous tenant.

Once you have all the papers together, you need to write a letter to the particular provider, stating your wish to take over the land line. Shortly thereafter, you should be able to make and receive calls which will be billed to you.

Further reading

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