BSNL launch 3G services in Chennai
The national launch of the third generation mobile service in Chennai enables a range of upgraded services, including rich voice, data and video services, to the subscribers.
3G makes possible video streaming applications such as Live TV, movie downloads, high speed data download on mobile phones with 3G services enabled.
Callers can also see each other on their mobile phone screens, according to a press release from BSNL.
The new service will offer data speed of 2 Mbps against 144 Kbps available now over the GPRS and EDGE enabled mobile networks.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, launched the service with an inaugural call to the Union Minister for Communication and IT, Mr A. Raja, the release said.
BSNL is the first mobile company to launch the service in Chennai. Chennai Telephones has installed 25 stations (Node-Bs) in the city for the initial launch and these would be expanded fast.
BSNL plans to invest over Rs 2,700 crore to provide 3G service in important cities, commercially important towns and all the district headquarters.
The Communications Minister said BSNL plans to cover more than 700 cities with 3G services. The mobile network has been expanded making India emerge the second largest mobile telephone market after China.
"We plan to operate 5 million lines spanning all district headquarters and important towns by end of this year at an investment of Rs.2700 crore," Mr Goyal said. "We expect 5% of our 2G subscribers to migrate to 3G." The company expects a revenue addition of Rs 500-1000 crore by this customer addition, and a 20% revenue augmentation by infrastructure sharing.
BSNL has tied up with Nokia, Sony and Samsung for handset bundling, the cheapest of which is priced at Rs.7000. Voice tariff schemes begin from a fixed monthly charge of Rs.350 for prepaid, and Rs 500 for postpaid. Data subscriptions are available starting Rs 250. The company has tied up with Micromax and Huawei for offering laptop data cards at prices ranging form Rs 3800 to 6000. "Trials are on to launch mobile banking on our 2G and 3G platforms," Mr Goyal said.
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