Sandeep Joshi

Offers subscribers facilities like faster Internet surfing and data downloads

The service will initially be available in Lutyens’ Delhi, will cover entire Delhi in next 3 months

Facilities include live TV, video on demand, video calls & ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ (VOIP)

NEW DELHI: Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited on Thursday announced commercial launch of its third generation (3G) mobile services here in the Capital, offering mobile subscribers facilities like faster Internet surfing and data downloads, live TV, video on demand, video calls and ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ (VOIP).

To begin with, the 3G service will be available only in Lutyens’ Delhi, and within the next three months the entire city would be covered starting from Jawaharlal Nehru University and North and South campuses of Delhi University. Though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had unveiled MTNL’s 3G services this past December, it took MTNL almost two months to make it available to the people.

Mumbai launch

MTNL is also likely to launch its 3G operations in Mumbai this month.

Claiming that a 3G subscriber could reduce his call charges by half through the use of VoIP services (Internet telephony), MTNL Chairman and Managing Director R.S.P. Sinha said they have invested about Rs.500 crore to install the 3G network which has the capacity to accommodate 2-lakh subscribers.

“Our 3G ‘Jadoo Service’ will be available at a one-time activation charge of Rs.500 and a monthly rental of Rs.599. For the first 15 days we will be providing value-added services for free,” he said.

Call charges

The call charges for the service are 60 paise per minute for local calls on own network and Re.1 on other networks, while STD and ISD and SMS charges would be as per as MTNL’s ‘Budget Plan’ for post-paid Dolphin services.

For video calls, Rs.1.80 per minute would be charged for local calls on own network and Rs.3 on other networks, while STD calls would cost Rs.3.75 per minute and ISD Rs.30. The 3G data download services (non-voice) will also be available at Rs.149 per month and Rs.5 per MB user charges.

MTNL would provide 200 minutes of mobile TV free for 12 channels and beyond that it would charge Rs.4 per minute. Similarly, ‘video on demand’ would be charged as per content usage, while the first 100 minutes of VoIP calls would be free, after which Rs.1 per minute would be charged, and ISD would cost Rs.3, Rs.6 and Rs.9, depending on the countries.

“It will still be very cheap compared to normal voice calls. People will be able to make cheap call to the US and many European nations through VoIP,” Mr. Sinha added.