The first time in India, third generation (3G) mobile phone services have been rolled out by state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) in Pune.
The pilot launch will enable 2 mbps data connectivity to 2,000 BSNL post-payment mobile subscribers in Pune free-of-cost for the time being.
While the controversial procedure for spectrum allocation for 3G services across the country continues, BSNL rolled out its 3G services for subscribers having Plan-725 on a first-come-first-serve basis in Pune. Thanks to the 2 mbps bandwidth, BSNL will provide facilities such as video conferencing, video calling, video MMS and visual mail box to the subscribers.
Chandra Prakash, chief of BSNL's Maharashtra and Goa circle, said, "We have partnered mobile solutions vendors ITI and Alcatel-Lucent India to provide 3G services. With the present capacity, we will offer this facility to 2,000 subscribers. Being a pilot project, the service will be free-of-charge."
Initially, the subscribers will only enjoy video-call facility. The other facilities would be provided over the next six months. BSNL plans to introduce 3G services in 56 cities and towns across the Maharashtra and Goa circle, for which the company has invested Rs 300 crore.
"The charges for the service will be finalised only after completion of the bidding procedure for spectrum allocation. The entire bidding process is expected to be wrapped up in six months, after which we will finalise the rates," Prakash added.
The 3G services are expected to cost 20 to 30 per cent more than the costs of prevailing GPRS or EDGE services that provide 144 kbps wireless connectivity. One megabite is equivalent to 1,000 kilobyte.
Source: Business Standard