KERALA

More telecom operators eyeing the State market

S. Anandan

Kochi: The State will in all likelihood have four more telecom service providers offering GSM mobile services in the near future. Industry watchers are keeping their fingers crossed as to the prospects of the new arrivals given the saturation-like scenario in mobile penetration and subscription in the State. However, the development will add to the options available for customers and will result in the further lowering of mobile phone tariffs in the State.

While Tata Teleservices is all geared up to launch its GSM services, waiting on the wings are Swan Telecom Private Limited, in which the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based telecom major Etisalat has 45-per cent stake; Unitech Wireless Private Limited; Datacom Solutions Private Limited; and Loop Telecom Private Limited, a subsidiary of Loop Mobile (formerly BPL Mobile Communications).

Only recently the State witnessed the entry of Shyam Sistema Teleservices (SSTS) that launched its CDMA mobile services under the brand name MTS.

According to industry sources, Swan plans a mid-July launch of its 2G services while the others may take a little longer to arrive.

Unitech, which is reportedly reeling under the global financial slowdown, may put the project on hold for sometime. But, when launched, it is likely to share Tata’s available bandwidth to offer its services.

Loop Telecom has appointed Surya Mahadevan, who was earlier heading Tata Teleservices in Kerala, to spearhead its operations in the State, but he says the company is only drawing up plans.

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