OTHERS

35,000 SIM cards to be distributed from tomorrow

BANGALORE, JULY 24. Those waiting for BSNL's Excel prepaid mobile phone cards have good news. On Monday, 35,000 SIM cards will be made available through the 11 customer service centres and five distributors in Bangalore. One lakh cards are to be sold throughout the State.

S. Ramaganapathy, who has just taken over as Chief General Manager, BSNL (Karnataka Circle), told presspersons here today that while the prepaid cards had a one-week validity, customers could also buy recharge coupons and were advised to do so. "We have another one lakh cards and there need be no panic," he said. The present eight lakh mobile line capacity was planned to be expanded to 16 lakh in about nine months, covering more towns.

Part of the Rs. 600-crore investment being made by BSNL in the country would result in broadband services for five cities in the State, including Bangalore, by December, he said.

An additional 350 km of optical fibre access was to be provided to Bangalore and the network would soon cover Mangalore, Mysore, and Hubli, he added.

ECS

There is more good news for CellOne post-paid customers. Those on Plan 325 and Plan 525 who continue beyond six months will get free talk time of Rs. 75 and Rs. 150 a month. The validity period for the Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 2,000 recharge coupons is being extended to 120 days and 180 days, twice the earlier period. Mobile phone customers can now opt for the Electronic Clearance Scheme (ECS) to pay their bills.

The customer service centres at Indiranagar, Kammanahalli, Central, Jayanagar, and Rajajinagar would now work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The call centre "1500" which catered to landline customers in Bangalore would be extended to other towns.

Landline customers could now get the prepaid India Telephone Cards in denominations of Rs. 108, Rs. 216, Rs. 540, Rs. 1,080, Rs. 2,160, and Rs. 5,400 to make STD/ISD calls from any telephone, he said.

With BSNL expanding its Internet Protocol (IP) based network, 12,000 trunk automatic exchange lines would be installed in Bangalore. Tenders were to be finalised in August, he said.

OFC network

This year 1,000 km of optical fibre network would be installed in Karnataka increasing the existing OFC network to about 37,000 km, Mr. Ramaganapathy said. The Managed Leased Line Network (MLLN) being commissioned across the country would have 16 district headquarters in Karnataka with a network management centre for the country located in Bangalore, he said.

The Netone Internet access service with an account-less facility, now in operation in Bangalore, was being implemented at Hubli, Mysore, and Mangalore and would later be extended to other towns.

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