Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) today launched its much awaited third generation 3G mobile services in Mumbai. MTNL Mumbai 3G tariff plans starts from Rs.250 per month at very affordable entry cost.
MTNL 3G Services include wide-area wireless voice telephony, video calls, and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment. MTNL’s Chairman and Managing Director R.S.P Sinha gave a demonstration during the launch and he also cited that 3G service will be also available for postpaid Dolphin customer as well as prepaid Trump customers.
MTNL also announced that existing customer can take the 3G service without changing the Mobile Number, just by one SMS request it can be activated on their existing mtnl mobile number. The commercial 3G service will be available to the normal customer by 1st June.MTNL 3G plans cost Rs.249 per month with free 3G usage worth Rs.650 and more according to the plan. MTNL also provide the 3G trail pack at Rs.99 with 15 days validity and free usage worth Rs.150 approx. The 3G HSPDA Data connection will be available at Rs.149 per month. For calls within MTNL’s own network charges will be levied at 60 paisa a minute and calls to another operator’s network, users will have to pay Re 1 a minute.
For video calls, MTNL charges between Rs.1.80 a minute for Local and Rs.3 for other network Video call. Consumers will also require a 3G-enabled handset which costs around Rs.4,000 to 8,000 and more at present to enjoy 3G benefit.
With this technology, subscribers will be able to get video streaming applications such as “Live TV”, movie downloads on their mobile handsets. Subscribers will have to pay Rs.3.00 for each MB downloads. This service will also enable customers to see their caller on screen.
"Our total investment for the 3G launch in Mumbai is Rs 250 crore and we hope to rope in one lakh customers by March next year. Connections will be available in about a month's time," MTNL's chairman and managing director R S P Sinha told reporters.
Sinha said that the company has built-up capacity to extend the service to 7.5 lakh subscribers, but due to unavailability of the required spectrum, only four lakh customers could be served."We will launch the service in south and central Mumbai currently. This will soon be expanded to other parts of the city, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Dombivali," Sinha said.
MTNL has associated with Nokia which would provide 3G handset plus connection package.
3G is an advanced wireless telecom standard, used across most of the developed world. The high-speed data transfer enables live TV, fast internet connectivity & file downloads, and high-quality voice calls. Most of the new advanced mobile phones available in India support 3G, though 3G is mostly in its infancy in India. Even after 3G becomes commonplace, it will take time for the services and applications for a 3G environment to take off in India.
Private telecom operators currently providing 2G telecom services in Mumbai include Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone-Essar, Idea Cellular, Tata Indicom, Loop Mobile(BPL Mobile) and Aircel. For these mobile service providers, 3G spectrum is still a long way off.