Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Sunday launched its third generation mobile phone services from Chennai, enabling subscribers to access a range of upgraded services, including rich voice, data and video services.
3G allows video streaming applications such as live TV, movie downloads and high speed data downloads on 3G-enabled mobile phones. Callers can also see each other on their mobile phone screens, according to a press release from BSNL.
The Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, launched the service with an inaugural call to the union minister for communication and IT, A Raja, a BSNL release said.
The new service will offer data speed of 2 Mbps against 144 Kbps available now over the GPRS and EDGE enabled mobile networks.
Chennai Telephones has installed 25 stations (Node-Bs) in the city for the initial launch and these would be expanded fast.
BSNL will offer trial pack for customers of 50/100MB or 15 days. The trial pack will not be allowed more than once per customer.
For migration from a particular 3G plan to other 3G plan under prepaid service, the activation voucher of the desired plan shall be used for migration.
For all the Data plans, the above mentioned voice and SMS charges would be levied;
Free SMS shall be provided for local SMS only;
BSNL portal browsing will be free to customers;
The pulse rate for data usage shall be of 1 MB under all post/prepaid plans;
On-net means own network (mobile/basic/WLL/CDMA), off-net means other network (mobile/basic/WLL/CDMA)
ISD tariffs for Voice calls will be as per 2G GSM;
ISD Video calls are not available at present;
These plans are applicable to both 2G and 3G customers, as no specific 3G voice tariff is possible at present;
The rates for all other items not covered above shall be as per 2G tariff;
Existing top-up vouchers and flexi top-up shall be allowed to the 3G voice and data prepaid plan also;
The grace period GP1 and GP 2 for voice and data plans shall be as per prepaid 2G GSM.
Tariff will be effective from the date of launch of the service, the release said.
BSNL plans to invest over Rs2,700 crore to take 3G service to other important cities in the country, including commercially important towns and all the district headquarters. BSNL expects to cover over 700 cities with 3G services.
India has over 360 million mobile connections and a tele density of over 34 per cent as of January 2009 and this is expected to double by 2012.
BSNL is also planning to bring down tariff to 40-50 paise a minute as also allowing mobile number portability - allowing subscribers to retain their number while changing operators.