TAMIL NADU

BSNL cellular services in 10 more towns by month-end

CHENNAI OCT. 5. With the Tamil Nadu Telecom circle of the BSNL gearing its machinery to launch cellular services in 80 towns by year-end, the telecom sector is poised to witness stiffer competition, as the department will become the fourth service provider. Under the first phase of the Rs.200-crore project, cellular services will be launched in 10 towns. The services were already launched in Coimbatore, Madurai, and Tirupur. Out of a total of 255 base stations to be created, 48 are being set up now— 32 in Coimbatore and Tirupur and 16 in Madurai.

``We are glad to provide the proven GSM technology (Motorola equipment) to capture the growing cellular market and come out with an attractive tariff (to be approved by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), in line with private operators in the cellular service industry'', K. Mahadevan, Principal General Manager (Operations) and officiating Chief General Manager of the Tamil Nadu Telecom circle, told The Hindu.

The project was designed to have over 10,000-line capacity. Initially, the department would come out with pre-paid services by October-end and after testing the stability of the varied support systems, it would offer post-paid services.

As part of its plan of covering 80 towns, all-out efforts were on to launch the project in Kancheepuram, Udhagamandalam, Erode, Ramanathapuram, Pondicherry, Salem, Thanjavur, Tiruchi, Tuticorin and Vellore by month-end.

``Our primary concern will be to provide a wider coverage and quality service at affordable rates'', Mr. Mahadevan said, adding this project would provide the required boost to the telecom sector in the State.

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