ANDHRA PRADESH

BSNL striving for full connectivity in two dts.

HYDERABAD Jan. 25. The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is working overtime to put in place adequate towers without dark patches, to give full connectivity to its subscribers in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts for CellOne post-paid and Excel pre-paid connections, on a par with private cellular operators.

At a press conference here on Saturday, the Principal General Manager-BSNL (Hyderabad Telecom District), J. Balakrishna, said although the CellOne and Excel services had been launched in Hyderabad last week itself, there were gaps in communication with subscribers.

Detailing the benefits of the CellOne and Excel services, Mr. Balakrishna said that the entire State was one Switching Area and that 180 towns and over 5,000 villages were entirely covered. Among the benefits were free incoming calls from BSNL landline and cellular phones, free South India roaming and free SMS facility even while roaming, apart from the regular ones like Caller Line Identification, Call Forward and Call Divert. The BSNL had over one lakh subscribers as of now, he said.

Answering questions he said the application forms were available at Vasanth Vihar and Room No. 116 of Suryalok Complex, both in Abids, and the telephone exchanges of Charminar, Saroornagar, Erragadda, Ameerpet, Secunderabad, Central Telegraph Office, Secunderabad, Trimulgherry and Lingampally. The applications would, however, be received only at four locations in the twin cities - Room No. 116, Suryalok Complex, Abids, Saroornagar, Secunderabad and Erragadda exchanges.

Reiterating the point that CellOne and Excel services were the cheapest, Mr. Balakrishna pointed out the example of cellular operators announcing recently that cell-to-cell anywhere in India would be available for Rs. 2.99 a minute. What was pertinent was that there was an add-on charge of Rs. 2 a minute for airtime charges. This made the service available at an actual cost of Rs. 4.99 a minute, while the BSNL offered the same service at Rs. 4.80 a minute, with no hidden charges.