BSNL To Leverage On Pricing In Karnataka

Bangalore: | Updated: Jul 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Superior highway coverage and highly competitive pricing will be the unique selling prepositions (USPs) of BSNL’s GSM cellular service in Karnataka. In a telecom circle with three existing service providers — Bharti with AirTel, Spice Telecom and Hutch, the government-owned telecom service provider is all set to launch its GSM service in the state by the end of August.

Talking to eFE BSNL general manager (IMPCS) Karnataka Telecom Circle MC Kalkura said, “We are still not sure whether we will roll out our services throughout the country on the same day. As far as Karnataka is concerned, the infrastructure for the service would be up and running by the end of August.”

Mr Kalkura said that BSNL was setting up 280 BTSs (base transceiving stations) across Karnataka. “I guess this is the largest number of BTSs on one network. None of the other cellular service providers in the state have as many as we plan to have. Half of these BTSs have already been erected and tested. The rest should be up in a couple of weeks’ time,” he said. Bangalore alone will have 61 BTSs, 39 of which have already been commissioned.

AirTel has 246 BTS in Karnataka and Spice Telecom, the second largest player in terms of subscribers, has approximately 160.

“We are making sure that all the highways of the state are covered without any black spots,” Mr Kalkura said.

“The pricing of our service will also be a major attraction of our service. The pricing of the service is being discussed by BSNL officials in New Delhi,” he said.

The billing of GSM subscribers of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh will be done at Hyderabad. “The setting up of the billing system will be completed in two weeks’ time,” Mr Kalkura said. BSNL will use the services of a call centre in Bangalore for its GSM operations in Karnataka, he said.