KARNATAKA

BSNL to offer mobile service soon

BANGALORE Oct. 5. In all, 121 cities and towns in Karnataka, including Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Belgaum, Dharwad, Hubli, Tumkur, Bijapur, Bidar, Gulbarga, Bellary, and Shimoga will be covered by the mobile service of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) shortly.

The Bangalore Telecom Principal General Manager, BSNL, B.R. Baliga, told presspersons here on Saturday that the Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, would launch the BSNL's national mobile service on October 19. The mobile services in the States would be launched thereafter.

Apart from the 121 cities and towns which will be directly covered by the mobile service, more places will have incidental coverage. BSNL mobiles had been given the 94 level though private cellular operators opposed it.

Some of the features of the mobile system are Voice Mail Service (VMS), Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), call waiting, call divert, Short Messaging Service (SMS), conferencing, detailed billing, national roaming, Unified Messaging Service (UMS), call transfer, call hold, STD and ISD, mobile hunt group, itemized billing, and international roaming.

Asked about the private cellular operators' threat to block BSNL's mobile service, he said the service was yet to be started and there was no question of blocking it.

In Bangalore, eleven customer service centres have been earmarked as mobile outlets. These centres will become operational when the mobile service is launched. The centres are BDA Complex in Koramangala, BOSCO building in Shankarapuram, Janata Bazaar DTO on K.G. Road, Amenity Block on Palace Road, O/o AM West on Magadi Road, O/o DGM MS Office in Central Exchange, Jayanagar 9th Block, Srinidhi Complex in Malleswaram, behind BDA Complex in Indiranagar, near Jalavayu Vihar in Kammanahalli, and CGM office in Ulsoor.

Among the important cities and towns where the mobile services are to directly introduced are Athani, Bailongal, Chikodi, Gokak, Nippani, Sankeshwar, and Saundatti in Belgaum District; Harapanahalli, Hospet, Kampli, Kudligi, Sandur, Siruguppa, and Torangallu in Bellary District; Basavakalyan and Bhalki in Bidar District; Bagalkot, Ilkal, Jamkhandi, Muddebihal, and Mudhol in Bagalkot District; and Chikmagalur, N.R. Pura, Sringeri, Kadur, Koppa, Mudigere, and Tarikere in Chikmagalur district.

The service will also be introduced in Chalakere, Chitradurga, Davangere, Harihar, Hiriyur, Holalkere, and Hosadurga in Chitradurga and Davangere districts; Byadgi, Gadag, Gajendragad, Haveri, Lakshmeshwar, Nargund, Ranebennur, and Savnur in Dharwad District; Bajpe, Bantwal, Belthangady, Brahmavar, Dharmasthala, Karkala, Konaje, Kundapur, Manipal, Moodbidiri, Puttur, Sulia, Suratkal, Udupi, and Uppinangady in Dakshina Kannada; and Sedam, Shahpur, and Yadgir in Gulbarga District.

The service will also be provided in Hassan, Arsikere, Belur, Channarayapatna, Holenarsipur and Sakleshpur in Hassan District; Gonikoppa, Madikeri, Virajpet, Somwarpet, and Kushalnagar in Kodagu District; Mandya, Bellur, Maddur, Pandavapura, and Srirangapatna in Mandya District, Bylukuppe, Chamarajanagar, Hunsur, K.R. Nagar, Kollegal, Nanjangud, and T. Narsipura in Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts; Gangavathi, Kartagi, Koppal, Raichur, and Sindhanur in Raichur District; Sira and Tiptur in Tumkur District; and Bhaktal, Dandeli, Honnavar, Karwar, Kumta, and Sirsi in Karwar District.

Mr. Baliga said BSNL's rates might vary in different States, as it would depend on the charges being levied by the private cellular operators in different telecom circles, he added.

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