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BSNL to launch 3G services in Karnataka
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#1
BANGALORE: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will be launching 3G (third generation) mobile services in Karnataka by mid-November this year, according to BSNL general manager (Broadband) Anil Jain.

The public services provider has an installed capacity of 200,000 connections which it plans to fill up by the end of this fiscal.

Since early this year, BSNL has already rolled out 3G services in around 200 cities and towns, mainly in North and East India with an installed capacity of about a million connections. “We have around 70,000 subscribers until now. One of the biggest problems in attracting more customers for 3G services is lack of awareness among the customers and unfound fears about costs,” revealed Jain.

“Many people are not aware about the charges – they are quite competitive. For example, we have been offering 35 television channels on the mobile at a subscription of Rs 150 per month. Even the data and voice charges are quite reasonable,” added Jain.

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#2
State-run telecom operator BSNL is eyeing November as the date for the launch of 3G mobile services in Bangalore. The company is testing the technology and expects sizeable subscriber base from the city. Post its launch, the company plans to start with a capacity of 200,000 3G users.

With the availability of 3G spectrum, about 275 million Indian subscribers will use 3G-enabled services, and the number of 3G-enabled handsets will reach close to 395 million by 2013-end, estimates the latest report by Evalueserve, a provider of knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) services.

BSNL has a subscriber base of 2.5 million in Karnataka for GSM customers, 420,000 for CDMA and around 480,000 broadband customers. The company has already launched 3G services in cities in the northern and eastern region, and plans are afoot to expand it to other states.

Kuldeep Goyal, chairman and managing director, BSNL, said the company is looking at new business segments for the upcoming fiscal like sharing the tower infrastructure with other private telecom players and looking at business opportunities in Africa.. “We have identified some companies in the African region and will look at the bidding process,” said Goyal. He added that the due-diligence into Zain Telecom for which BSNL and MTNL are looking at picking up a 46 per cent stake will start soon.

BSNL has launched its first pre-paid broadband and high speed internet (24 Mbps) services in Bangalore. A pre-requisite for customers wanting to subscribe to prepaid broadband services is to have a BSNL landline connection. A customer can opt for either an unlimited or a limited download pre-paid account.

BSNL started broadband services on DSL lines in 2005 from Bangalore and has 4.3 million customers nationally. The company has already installed broadband capacity on DSL lines of 8.5 million of which 1.5 million ports are in rural areas.

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