MTNL Cuts Post-paid Cell Tariffs; To Hike Dolphin, Garuda Capacities

New Delhi: | Updated: Feb 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
Gearing up to face competition from the private sector, government-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has reduced its post-paid cellular tariffs. The company has also announced expansion of its cellular (Dolphin) and limited mobility-wireless in local loop (Garuda) capacities in Delhi and Mumbai.

The company has reduced monthly rentals for its high-end (heavy users) plans from Rs 700 to Rs 650 (for package C) and from Rs 1900 to Rs 1200 (for package D). However, it has increased the pulse rate to 60 seconds from 30 seconds.

MTNL has also made all incoming calls free (for all kind of networks including fixed line, WLL and cellular) for its post-paid cellular subscribers from March 1, 2003, a month before the April 1 deadline set by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. However, many other cellular operators have already come out with similar plans.

However, subscribers on MTNLs pre-paid tariffs have not been extended this facility. MTNL has 1,16,679 pre-paid customers and 1,24,405 post-paid cellular customers as on January 31, 2003.

On the organisations expansion plans, MTNL chairman and managing director Narinder Sharma said, We will add 100,000 Garuda wireless in local loop services lines in Delhi by middle of March. It may be recalled that MTNL had earlier planned to expand its WLL services by the end of February.

Talking about Garudas expansion plans in Mumbai, Mr Sharma said, We will introduce 46000 additional Garuda lines by April end and another 46000 lines by end of July this year.

MTNL will also have an additional four lakh Garuda lines and another four lakh Dolphin lines by March 2004.

On MTNLs new fixed line packages according to the new tariff orders brought out by Trai, Mr Sharma said, We are finalising our fixed line packages. We are trying to fix the new tariffs in such a way so as to ensure zero overall impact on rentals on our subscribers.

The public sector unit will be introducing digital subscriber loop (DSL) based broadband services by middle of March 2003, added Mr Sharma.

Asked about the merger of MTNL and BSNL, Mr Sharma said, A committee is studying the details and is expected to submit its report to the Union minister for telecom in another three to four weeks.

MTNL has also introduced value-added services like allowing its subscribers to check e-mail on phones and sending bill alerts over the Internet. Thus, MTNL subscribers can send or receive e-mails from their landline phones.