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October 4, 1999
Pune Telecom plans ISP, cellular servicePune Telecom is not only readying to offer Internet access services but will also roll out a cellular service soon.
If the high teledensity metro of Bombay is not counted, Pune Telecom accounts for about 30 per cent revenue in the Maharashtra telecom circle.
Pune Telecom's Internet services are expected to be operational by December but cellular service could take some time, Principal General Manager Nirmal Saroop has said.
The Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, which is the government owned basic telephony operator for New Delhi, is in the midst of a controversy since it announced it would start cellular service. Regulatory authorities and law experts are still debating the legality of allowing MTNL to begin cellular services.
Pune Telecom and DoT are awaiting a decision on the fate of MTNL before announcing their own cellular services.
As and when DoT gets the clearance and Pune Telecom is asked to provide cellular services, "I will ensure that we provide the best service since we have the network for the same," Saroop promised.
On Internet services, he said Pune Telecom has been allotted an 'A' type node, which is said to be the best and provided to cities like Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad along with the four metros. Besides, Pune Telecom has already ordered the equipment for the service.
With the majority of exchanges under Pune Telecom having been converted into digital ones, Saroop said Internet services would be of better quality.
The Internet services, which the Pune Telecom is launching this yearend, is part of DoT's plans to introduce the services in all the 31 districts of Maharashtra by next year.
Pune Telecom, Saroop said, is proposing to introduce the 'wireless in local loop' technology. WLL is undergoing field trials in Bangalore and once successful "We will venture into it," he said.
Though wired telephone services is still considered to be better, WLL is helpful in areas where cable laying is a problem, particularly in high terrain, Saroop said, adding that this system would be mainly introduced on the outskirts of the city.
Pune Telecom, which has an installed capacity of 41,000 lines, has targeted 2000 for clearing backlog and supplying "phone on demand", he said.
With the addition of another 189,000 lines during 1999-2000, the waiting list of 49,224 connections should be cleared and the remaining could be used to provide immediate connection on demand.
The 'integrated services digital network' service, which was introduced in 1997, has received a good response and was taken by 300 subscribers, facilitating voice, data and image transmission over the telephone line through the telephone network.
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