Aircel To Set Up 2nd SMS Centre In Chennai

Chennai, April 8 | Updated: Apr 9 2004, 05:30am hrs
Aircel, the leading mobile service provider in the Tamilnadu and Chennai circles, is setting up a second short message service (SMS) centre in Chennai to ease the SMS traffic congestion. SMS centre is a facility through which messages get routed to the recepient.

Aircel at present has a SMS traffic of over seven lakh messages a day while its SMS capacity is only five lakhs. The SMS centre, which is coming up in Chennai in a week's time, will increase Aircel's capacity to 20 lakhs messages a day.

In the past one month or so, Aircel subscribers have been at the receiving end of delayed SMS'. Query any Aircel customer on this and pat comes the confirmation. Interestingly, many Aircel subscribers noted that the delay in the delivery of SMS' started right after Aircel's takeover of RPG.

When contacted, Aircel officials said that the delay in the delivery of SMS' had nothing to do with the takeover. Officials said that the SMS traffic increased after Aircel had introduced the `Easy Deal' pre-paid pack which offered free SMS'.

To Invest Rs 102 Cr More In Chennai Circle

The setting up a second SMS centre is part of Aircel's larger expansion
plans. In the Chennai circle alone, Aircel is looking at expanding its
capacity from the current 3 lakh subscribers to 7 lakh at an investment of
Rs 102 crore. According to Aircel officials, the mobile service provider is
doubling its base stations from the current 185 base stations to 370. It is
also setting up a second mobile switching centre (MSC) in Chennai, besides
adding three more base switching centre (BSC) in the city. A MSC is the
exchange through which calls get routed while a BSC is a subsidiary unit of
MSC. The work on the capacity expansion has already commenced.

Speaking to The Financial Express, Mr R V Rao, technical head, Aircel, said, "in mid-February, Aircel had introduced a Rs 199, pre-paid pack which offered free SMS. Quite naturally, the SMS traffic increased by leaps and bounds."

When asked on the delay in easing the congestion, Mr Rao said, "we had anticipated an increase in the SMS traffic. However, due to technical glitches, the problem could not be sorted out earlier."