Hutch launches cellular service in Karnataka

CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE: Hutchison Essar will launch its cellular service in Karnataka on

June 24, 2002 and will thus be the fourth cellular service provider in the

state. Subscribers in Karnataka will have access to Hutch network service that

spans to 100 countries.


Branded ‘Hutch’, the service will be available in Bangalore, Mangalore,

Mysore, Hubli and Dharwad during its first phase to cover the state. "The

five cities of the state account for 90 per cent of the Karnataka mobile market

size. We will soon cover the entire state in a phased manner. The 175 odd towers

in the state are up and ready to beam from Monday, out of which 140 are in

Bangalore," said Hutch Essar South, CEO, Rajiv Sawhney.

The service is offered under one plan called Talk Flexi Tariff plan. As per

the plan, Rs 275 will be the rental charges apart from the deposit. Both

incoming and outgoing calls are charged at the same rate. From 0-150 minutes of

usage, a call is charged Rs 2.50 per minute and for 150-450 minutes of usage the

calls are charged Rs 1.75 and for usage of above 450 minutes, the calls are

charged Rs 1.25. Hutch also offers the ‘Talk More Pay Less’ scheme.

The company has earmarked over Rs 1200 crore for this phase of the southern

project, which includes the launching cellular service, which will make it the

fourth operator in Andhra Pradesh and Chennai circle apart from Karnataka

circle. Much of the investment will be utilized for setting up the

infrastructure, paying for the license and mending the operating loss of the

first few years.

"We are delighted to be among the fourth cellular operator launched in

India. There is a lot of room for a fourth cellular operator. India’s mobile

penetration is 0.8 per cent as compared to five per cent and eight per cent

penetration in countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand in the

APAC region. We are launching a unified brand," said, Hutchison Essar,

director, Asim Ghosh.

Apart from these Hutch is also introducing value added services such as voice

response services and unified messaging services. Other value added services of

Hutch includes accessing mails, faxes and voice mails anywhere in the world.

Voice messaging for overseas calls to countries like the US and Canada is

charged at Rs 4.95 per minute and voice messaging in India would cost Rs 1.95

per minute.