MTNL Cuts Cell Rates; Cell-to-Cell STD At Rs 1.90 Per Minute

Mumbai, May 23: | Updated: May 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has reduced tariffs on its post-paid cellular service from Rs 1.80 to Rs 1.60 per minute. In a significant development, cell to cell STD rates have also been reduced to Rs 1.90 per minute from the earlier level of Rs 2.90 per minute. These rates are for Plan A which entails a monthly rental of Rs 250. The cost of an SMS has also been reduced to 80 paise from Rs 1.

Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, MTNL CMD Narinder Sharma said all the tariffs included the Interconnect User Charge (IUC).

MTNL Plans Rs 1,200 crore Investment Outlay
MTNLs CMD Narinder Sharma with RSP Sinha, director, finance at the press conference to announce the launch of new tariffs for its cellular services

Mumbai, May 23: MTNL will invest Rs 1,200 crore in 2003-04 for developing the telecom backbone and infrastructure, including CDMA network. The investment will be to develop infrastructure in two circles - Delhi and Mumbai - with an aim to expand our GSM and CDMA mobile networks, MTNL chairman and managing director Narinder Sharma said. According to him, MTNL plans to expand its GSM mobile (Dolphin) and WLL service (Garuda) in the two metros, of which Mumbai will get an additional four lakh lines of both services. The expansion work on the Garuda network is progressing and the addition of one lakh lines has been completed. The company expects to complete work on 50,000 more lines by June end. PTI

All the rates will have a 60-second pulse rate. There will be four plans on Dolphin. Cell to cell on Plan D will be 30 paise per minute, said Mr Sharma. For calls made to a fixed line from a cell, Plan A offers a tariff of Rs 1.90 per minute, while the cheapest tariff is 60 paise on Plan D. Plan D requires the subscriber to pay Rs 1000 as monthly rentals.

On the pre-paid front, cell to cell charges have been reduced by 10 paise to Rs 2.20 with a 60-second pulse rate.

Elaborating on other plans, Mr Sharma emphasised that fixed line tariffs will continue to be charged at a pulse rate of 180 seconds. Responding to a query on the inability of users to call cellular numbers from public call offices, he said there was a proposal to have a uniform pulse rate which would be applicable to all services called.

It was earlier reported that the organisation was planning a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS). At this stage, MTNL has a staff strength of 57,000. We are almost ready with our VRS plan and should announce it in about four to five weeks, said Mr Sharma.

Plans are afoot to launch the broadband plan, which will allow the user to receive telephone calls while surfing the Net. The service has been launched in Mumbai and is expected to go live over the next few months.