The rush is on

THE RUSH to get connected is on! But not everyone seems to be lucky; as the distribution of BSNL's prepaid mobile connections have shown. A number of people have returned without realising their hopes and quite a few BSNL officials have been at the receiving end at the customer service counters. Some of the problems had crept up because of the oversight of the officials concerned at the prepaid distribution counters while some others were beyond the officials to solve. The distribution of applications for Excel prepaid mobile connections had started off on February 20 and is expected to last till the end of the month when they would exhaust two lakh connections. Each day, around 1,300 connections are being given by the BSNL offices for Ernakulam district alone. These are available at the counters at BSNL Bhavan, Panampilly Nagar and Broadway offices in the city while another counter at the BSNL office at Muvattupuzha is also providing the mobile cards. Apart from these, there are a number of distributors for BSNL mobile connections where the heavy rush is experienced. Application forms get exhausted within hours of opening the office every day. The BSNL office is issuing the prepaid cards with a daily ceiling to contain the heavy rush witnessed earlier. Customers have been queuing up at the offices of BSNL and the distributors from as early as 8 a.m. for the counters to open at 9-30 a.m. One is reminded of the heydays of Malayalam cinema when such queues were witnessed at theatres. While BSNL is trying to increase the capacity of its mobile connections in a phased manner, the telecom major is finding it hard to keep pace with the demand.

By Shyama Rajagopal