Kochi: Bharath Sanchaar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has launched wireless telephone service in Kochi. The service, using the wireless in local loop (WLL) technology, is the first of its kind in the state.
George Eden, the member of parliament from Kochi, inaugurated it. He said BSNL should make attempts to slash the deposit amount fixed for WLL telephones.
The introduction of mobile services by BSNL will usher in competition. Besides this, private players will be forced to reduce their rates, he said. With the introduction of WLL, fixed wireless phones and limited mobile services will be available in Kochi district.
Fixed WLL consists of a base unit having external antenna to which a normal telephone can be plugged into. A battery backup rechargeable from 230 volts main supply is also part of the unit. It can also work on a car battery.
According to BSNL officials, the six numbering scheme is recommended for areas where normal telephone connections are not technically feasible. The fixed telephone will have a range of 5-10 kms. The installation charge is Rs 800 while the rental will be Rs 250 per month.
Around 75 free calls are available for the fixed telephone. The unit call charge is equivalent to normal telephone charges.
Mobile telephone using WLL technology will be available in a range of 5 km on road from Ernakulam, Panampally Nagar and Palarivattom telephone exchanges. The indoor range is 2.5-3 kms. The unit call charge is Rs 1.20 per call. The rental charge is Rs 450 per month. There will be no incoming call charges. The pulse for local, STD and ISD calls will be as applicable to a normal telephone. The activation charge is Rs 500.
Around 300 lines have been installed in the first phase. Out of this, 750 terminals will be made up of mobile telephones. The base station is at the Ernakulam telephone exchange at the boat jetty.
Around 31,000 WLL lines would be introduced in rural areas. Out of this, 25 per cent will be made up of mobile phone services. BSNL has also completed the process of floating tenders for its full-fledged mobile services. These services will become operational by the first quarter of 2002.
Around 1 lakh mobile connections will be provided in the first phase and another 2 lakhs in the second phase.