Chennai: Unified telecom service provider Tata Teleservices Limited will soon expand its operations to 80 towns in the state. Currently present in just eight towns, the expansion of services will happen in the next two to three months.
''That is where the market actually lies,'' says M A Madhusudan, deputy chief operating officer. Nearly 80 per cent of direct exchange lines lie in the 80 towns that Tata Teleservices are now proposing to expand their services into. Tamil Nadu is one of the highest telecom revenue generating states in the country.
Tata Teleservices offer wireless fixed line as well as mobile telephone services, apart from providing other value added telecom offerings. Though the company has got the state government's permission - the Right of Way - to dig the roads and lay cables for their fixed wireline services, Madhusudan says the focus will be more on wireless operations.
So far, in Tamil Nadu, the company has ramped up a subscriber base of 1.6 lakh and its public call offices number 6,000.
''The average revenue per subscriber for us is around Rs.800 and the customer churn is less than one per cent,'' Madhusudan remarks. ''Through our fixed wireless service we can offer the same or even better services than what a wireline telecom company could offer,'' he says.
According to Madhusudan, Tamil Nadu offers good potential for mobile telephone operators. ''We expect the mobile telephone market here to double next year from the current level of 3.3 lakh subscribers.'' The company should achieve a turnover of at least Rs.300 crore during 2004-05, in accordance with these projections. Tata Teleservices should be closing this fiscal with a turnover of Rs.100 crore.
Refusing to share more details, Madhusudan says that the company will also expand its retail network in a major way. The company has 33 retail outlets.
When queried whether the Tata Teleservices plans to consolidate its call centres in various states, Madhusudan refused to comment. However he agreed that the company's call centre is one area that has to be improved and a major overhaul is underway. The company outsources part of the call centre operations.
It is learnt, Tata Teleservices intends to consolidate the call centre operations in one of the three southern states (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh) where it has its presence.
According to him, the one-year-old agreement with n-Logue Communications is progressing well and there are plans to expand the operations to three more centres. Last year Tata Teleservices appointed n-Logue as its franchisee for four towns - Bhavani, Vaniyampadi, Gudiyatham and Mayavaram. As per the agreement, n-Logue using the corDECT wireless in the local loop technology would establish a chain of Internet/PCO kiosks in these towns.