MTNL to commercialise 3G spectrum by Jan-end

RSP Sinha, CMD of MTNL expects the 3G network to go commercial and to launch in Mumbai by the end of January. He plans to launch the 3G spectrum free of cost for the first month to the companyís CIP customers. He added that the spectrum would be given to customers at reasonable prices.
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Dec 12, 2008, 12.42 PM | Source: CNBC-TV18

MTNL to commercialise 3G spectrum by Jan-end

RSP Sinha, CMD of MTNL expects the 3G network to go commercial and to launch in Mumbai by the end of January. He plans to launch the 3G spectrum free of cost for the first month to the companyís CIP customers. He added that the spectrum would be given to customers at reasonable prices.

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MTNL to commercialise 3G spectrum by Jan-end

RSP Sinha, CMD of MTNL expects the 3G network to go commercial and to launch in Mumbai by the end of January. He plans to launch the 3G spectrum free of cost for the first month to the companyís CIP customers. He added that the spectrum would be given to customers at reasonable prices.

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RSP Sinha, CMD, MTNL

RSP Sinha, CMD of MTNL expects the 3G network to go commercial and to launch in Mumbai by the end of January. He plans to launch the 3G spectrum free of cost for the first month to the companyís CIP customers. He added that the spectrum would be given to customers at reasonable prices.

 

3G finally kicked off in India today with the PM making the first call on public sector MTNLís network. But, even as this happened,

 

Meanwhile, the DoT has indicated that it is not comfortable with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Indiaís (TRAI) recommendation for levying a 2 % additional administration charge.

 

The TRAIís 2% admin charge has been opposed by the COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India). The COAI will formally oppose this in writing shortly. The DoT (Department of Telecommunications) fears that this may affect 3G bids. The Telecom Commission will discuss this next Friday. The 3G bid document would be next week, the DoT says. The 3G auctions will be completed by January end.

 

Here's is transcript of RSP Sinha's interview in a press conference

 

Q: What are you initial thoughts on the 3G pricing. We know that you havenít yet decided upon it but what is it likely to be. Can MTNL offer some indications?

 

A: One thing is clear, our 3G pricing cannot be different from the existing prices across the world. So he pricing has to be affordable price then only 3G will sale.

 

Q: Have you decided on price because you donít know how much amount you will have to pay for the spectrum?

 

A: We are already working on the price factor but initially for almost a month we are launching it free of cost and giving it to our CIP customers. So the price will be reasonable, affordable and everyone will like it.

 

Q: When will the MTNL 3G network go commercial?

 

A: By the end of January everything will be commercial.

 

Q: When it will launch in Mumbai?

 

A: We are planning to launch in Mumbai by the end of January.

 

Q: How many subscribers at present can you support on 3G in both Delhi and Mumbai?

 

A: It all depends upon the network which we are going to establish. We are sure that once the full network is rolled out; two lakh customers can be supported.

 

 

Q: What is your definition of affordable pricing?

 

A: I do not want to disclose the price. Once itís commercially launched we will come out with the prices. But the price cannot be different than what other operators outside India are charging.

 

Q: How much more per minute?

 

A: Today I will not be able to answer because itís a question of data capability. If the data transmission is going to be very high then some discounts have to be given and depending upon the data utilisation the pricing will be also decided.

 

Q: Barring the 3G spectrum charge that you may have to pay what is MTNLís total capex plan for the 3G operation?

 

A: In Delhi and Mumbai we will be installing more than 1,500 Node B, its like BTS (Base Transceiver Stations) for 2G so we are spending amount on that. Fortunately this Node B can be mounted on the existing towers but you need another supply infrastructure like battery, power plant and other things. So there will be some incremental expenditure but it is not like 2G.          

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