M. Dinesh Varma

CHENNAI: BSNL Chennai Telephones has clocked 10,000 3G mobile connections within a month of going commercial with the service.

Chennai Telephones was the first circle in south India to begin commercial operations of 3G mobile services, offering speeds of up to 3.6 mbps, video calling and mobile TV as value propositions.

As a promotional offer, the call rates were kept lower than 2G rates with video calls being charged only 30 paise per minute.

Almost 60 per cent of the 3G connections are new customers while the rest are existing 2G CellOne users who migrated to the new technology.

The encouraging response to next-generation telephony is a reflection of the evolved mobile user market, a Chennai Telephones official said.

Apparently, the city’s first generation of 3G converts is also obsessed with the number of their connection.

At a recent auction for vanity numbers for 3G connections, one of the bids was closed for Rs.1.8 lakh.

Virtually replicating the 2G experience, a majority of the 3G users have opted for prepaid connections.

The Rs.120 per month package has been the most popular, an official said.

BSNL and Huawei, the Chinese vendor of 3G network solutions, have been organising road shows at upmarket residential hubs to raise awareness on the new technology and provide potential customers with a first-hand feel of the 3G experience.

BSNL chairman Kuldeep Goyal is scheduled to felicitate the 10,000th 3G mobile customer at a function on Monday.

Chennai Telephones is in the process of strengthening its 3G infrastructure across Chennai.

It expects to put in place another 250 Node B stations to the existing network of about 300 towers to provide seamless 3G connectivity across Chennai and adjoining districts. The target is to net 1.5 lakh 3G customers in the next couple of months.