BSNL to launch cellular services in Pune shortly

By : |August 8, 2001 0

PUNE: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will make its maiden entry into the
cellular space in Pune by launching its cellular services within the next six
months. This was stated by BSNL’s (Pune) principal general manager R L Dubey
who was in the city after the launch of similar services in Patna.

"We were planning to introduce mobile phone services and were
overwhelmed by the positive response from our customers. This was because of the
relatively cheaper rates offered by us in comparison to other players in this
field," he said.

According to him, Maharashtra offers a tremendous potential for offering
mobile phone services with Pune acting as a hub for the entire state.
Significantly, BSNL is also hoping to score where other players have faltered,
especially with respect to covering highways and smaller towns.

"We are banking on the strength of our telecom network to provide
uninterrupted services," he said. Incidentally, the service will be have
roaming facility since BSNL has presence in almost every part of the country.

He now hopes to have at least 50,000 subscribers for this service in the
first year of operations. The figure is expected to touch 5 lakh across the
country. A separate division has been set up in Pune to oversee the launch

In the first phase, BSNL has set a target of 40,000 subscribers from urban
areas and in the second phase would focus on reaching out to smaller towns. BSNL
has also begun to offer leased Internet lines to corporates.

The next priority would be to lay a local fibre network to offer value-added
services to the business community. BSNL has identified at least 150 corporates
in Pune for laying the fibre network and has already has entered an
understanding with Bajaj, Telco, Sandvik Asia, Alfa Laval and Philips India.
This will bring it face to face with rival Reliance, which has already commenced
laying optic fibre network all over the city.

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