BSNL to invest Rs 160cr in 23 Jharkhand cities

Written by fe Bureau | Jamshedpur | Updated: Jun 30 2009, 07:54am hrs
BSNL is investing around Rs 160 crore to bring 23 cities and towns of Jharkhand under the 3G mobile network in the next two to three months.

Jharkhand telecom circle chief general manager (CGM) Rakesh Kapur said BSNL will cover all the 23 district headquarters in the next three months.

Asked if customers wanting to switch over from 2G to 3G services had to replace their mobile sets, the CGM said most mobile handsets have some of the basic 3G functions in-built.

He, however, added that as 3G offered a wide range of services which included mobile TV, video and web access to name a few, there wasnt available a single handset which could be used for receiving all the 3G services on offer.

BSNLs 3G services in Jharkhand are initially to provide high-speed web services, streaming video, e-mail, mobile TV and MMS, while services like music downloading, m-gaming and blogging would follow.

The steel city on Saturday became the third city in Jharkhand after Ranchi and Dhandbad to launch 3G services and the 71st in the country to have the services, BSNL expects to bring 500 cities in the country under 3G by July 2009.

Asked how cheap 3G services could become in the future, Kapur said it would all depend on the number of subscribers.

Although 3G services were new, the technology uses more than 70% of the existing infrastructure to function.

I personally believe we are showing the way and many players would enter and compete later on, said Kapur, when asked if BSNL would have an edge in the 3G competition for having entered early.

BSNL is also preparing to launch the CDMA-based WiMAX network for rural areas of the state to facilitate e-governance. BSNL is supposed to give WiMAX connectivity to around 4,500 panchayats in the state in 2009-10.