BSNL plans To Reduce Rates For 3G Services Soon

Against the trend of rising mobile internet tariff, state-run telecom BSNL_Logocompany BSNL is likely to cut its 3G data rates by at least 50 percent once the next phase of its network expansion is completed.

In an interview with PTI in Barcelona, BSNL chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastav said that estimates reveal that 3G data rates could be reduced by at least 50 per cent compared to existing rates under phase 8 of network expansion. Presently the company offers 3G mobile Internet at par with 2G rates of other leading telecom companies. 1GB of 3G mobile Internet service is sold for Rs 175 and 2GB costs Rs 251.

Shrivastav further said that the company has utilised 90 per cent of 3G capacity. If the tariff rate is reduced now, traffic will be increased and network is unlikely to bear the load. Hence the capacity has to be expanded first under phase 8 and then rates will be reduced. Now the company is working on phase 7 network expansion plan which will be completed by this June. Phase 8 network expansion programme is expected to begin in the first quarter of the financial year 2015-16.

The company was allocated 3G spectrum in 2009 but investment was not done between 2009-13 due to some procedural issues and financial crisis. To increase mobile Internet traffic, BSNL is tuning its network for next generation Internet IDs known as IPv6 and addition of more 3G capacity in the regional node centres. Under the new phase, BSNL will also integrate Wi-Fi hotspots in 2500 cities and towns with 3G by 2016-end and will increase network capacity. To connect with WiFi a BSNL subscriber will not require any permission. The 3G subscriber will get automatically connected to a WiFi hotspot once the user comes in the range of the hotspot, as told by Shrivastav.

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