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3G spectrum: What MTNL, BSNL offer

Last updated on: May 21, 2010 14:29 IST

3G spectrum: What MTNL, BSNL offer

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Manoj, a Kochi-based businessman, is pretty excited to see his kids while he talks to them on his mobile phone.

Thanks to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd's 3G service, he can now talk with his family members on a video chat even when he is travelling.

This is the new world of 3G mobile telephony where you are face-to-face with your friends or business partners even when you are miles apart.

BSNL which launched its 3G service in Kerala in January this year, has received a good response. BSNL, which started 3G services in March 2009 already has 1 million 3G subscribers across 240 cities in India, except Mumbai and Delhi, where the Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd offers 3G services.

The competition is now set to get tougher as private players plan to start 3G services by the end of this year.

Click NEXT to read more about '3G Jadoo'...


Image: BSNL bets big on 3G services.
Photographs: Reuters.
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3G spectrum: What MTNL, BSNL offer

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MTNL was the first operator to launch 3G services in India. New Delhi was the first city to experience '3G Jadoo' on December 11, 2008 with super-speed browsing at work, at home or on the move. MTNL also offers a free 3G connection for existing users till the end of May.

Users can download music, videos, clips, games and much more at amazing speeds with 3G. A year after 3G services were launched in Mumbai, MTNL has 100,000 3G subscribers, and currently MTNL has a total of 375,000 customers using its 3G services.

The number of 3G handset users is estimated at around 20 million, though only two operators are offering 3G in select regions. By 2013, it is expected that 3G handsets will account for over 40 per cent of the mobile handset base in India. The total number of 3G handsets would reach 395 million by 2013 in the country.

MTNL and BSNL 3G services are available both in pre-paid and post-paid plans. The existing MTNL mobile customers can avail 3G mobile services without a change of number. With 3G service subscription, you will continue to enjoy the existing 2G services also.

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Image: 3G promises better voice, picture clarity.

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3G spectrum: What MTNL, BSNL offer

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MTNL and BSNL got an advantage in getting the license to launch 3G two years before the private operators. Private mobile operators have just completed their bidding process for 3G spectrum and it will take them about 6 months to roll out their services.

So while the competition for the 3G spectrum is set to get tougher and bigger, customers are likely to get a good deal.

Operators have already paid hefty fees in a bidding process. It will be a challenge for all operators to offer a competitive pricing for this premium service.

MTNL chairman Kuldeep Singh said the payment for 3G spectrum auction licence fee is amortised over 20 years. "I think we can generate enough demand over the period to pay for the amount," Kuldeep Singh said.

MTNL has a cash balance of Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion). Both MTNL and BSNL face a payment of about Rs 16,500 crore (Rs 165 billion) for 3G spectrum auction licence fee. Of the total, Rs 6,500 crore (Rs 65 billion) belongs to MTNL and the rest to BSNL.

Click NEXT to find out what a 3G service offers you now. . .


Image: Good prospects for 3G.

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3G spectrum: What MTNL, BSNL offer

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Services offered with MTNL's 3G services?

High-speed Internet services, video calling, streaming videos, download music and movies, play high-speed games, and mobile TV.

How can you avail 3G connection?

You need a 3G Jadoo connection, if you are in Mumbai or Delhi, and a 3G-compatible handset.

Broadband speed

You will experience broadband speeds up to 2 Mbps. Using HSDPA services you can experience speed up to 3.6 Mbps. Speed depends on the handset used, application, coverage, network traffic and number of users currently using that point of time.

3G services on your existing number?

You can get 3G on existing MTNL's GSM number. A new subscriber can buy MTNL's 3G connection (USIM) from customer service centre, distributor and retail outlet.

Click NEXT to read on. . .


Image: A digital globe.
Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Japan.
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3G spectrum: What MTNL, BSNL offer

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If out of 3G coverage area?

You will continue to access 2G/2.5G services in areas where 3G coverage is absent. You have to ensure that your network setting is on dual mode. You will have to select 3G/UMTS dual mode in your handset for network selection. You will also require GPRS settings if you are not using GPRS.

Why 3G over 2G?

To experience high-speed Internet and data services on the move in 3G, make video calls and host of other multimedia services which are not available in 2G.

Download and upload videos on my mobile?

Yes, with 3G, you can watch streaming videos and download videos on your mobile handset. You can also send user generated content, i.e. record video from your mobile and share them with your friends or upload on internet sites from your mobile.

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Image: 3G scores over 2G.

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3G spectrum: What MTNL, BSNL offer

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What are the tariffs?

Pre-paid for new users (MTNL)

A SIM kit, which costs Rs 89, comes with a Rs 29 voucher which is already 3G-enabled and has a de-facto tariff plan indicated in the SIM kit.

You can recharge with any of the data vouchers for increased data download requirements. To access the Internet or use data download features, a minimum balance of Rs 25 has to be maintained.

For exiting MTNL users

The activation charges are Rs 149 for 3G. A de facto plan has charges Rs 1.80 per min for a local video call and Rs 3.75 for an STD video call. ISD video calls are charged at Rs 30/min. The 3G data rate is Rs 2 per MB (Pulse of 2ps/10 KB).

Post-paid charges:

You have to opt for a 2G plan, pay a one time activation charge of Rs 149. Voice call will be charged as per opted 2G tariff plan. A video call will coast as low as Rs 0.60 per min to own network and Rs 0.90 to other network.

STD video calls will be charged at Rs 0.90 per min and ISD video calls at Rs 30/min. 3G data rate will be Rs 2 per MB (Pulse of 10 KB).


Image: Nokia N96.

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