labels: bharat sanchar nigam ltd, telecom
BSNL to add six crore mobile lines news
Our Corporate Bureau
18 August 2005

Chennai: Telecom major, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), has decided to expand its cellular network to add another six crore lines. According to the union minister for communications, information and technology Dayanidhi Maran, BSNL is in the process of considering the tender for the new lines. In fact, BSNL is already in the process of adding 1.6 crore lines in the country.

Announcing this at a function here on August 17, to launch 40-lakh additional mobile lines in the south zone — Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Kerala and Karnataka — Maran said, "Hardware vendors bidding for the BSNL order should do at least 30 per cent value addition in India."

According to him, there are 5.35 crore mobile lines in India and this should go up to 25 crore by 2007.

Referring to the recent criticism of BSNL in the media, he said, "One cannot compare the performance of private players and BSNL as the former started operating in 1994 and the later only in 2002."

"In six months BSNL will lead the telecom race in the country. It took three years to add 13 lakh lines in Tamil Nadu and now in three months a similar number will be added," he declared.

According to him BSNL will add 1.6 crore mobile lines this calendar year and another 80 lakh lines by March 2006.

The share of the four Southern states and the union territory of Pondicherry in the 40-lakh new lines will be — Tamil Nadu including Chennai and Pondicherry 12.8 lakh; Karnataka 8.02 lakh, Kerala 9.6 lakh and Andhra Pradesh 9.6 lakh.

The network is upgraded to the enhanced data rate for GSM evolution-EDGE standards. This would provide higher data rate for video transmission to lead BSNL on to 3G technology.

The Rs1,200-crore turnkey project has been bagged by Nortel. According to Nortel''s president-Global Operations, Susan Spradley, this is the single largest order that Nortel has ever bagged.

According to A K Sinha, chairman and managing director, BSNL, "The 40-lakh lines will be made available in the Southern region progressively."

The chief ministers of Karnataka and Pondicherry, Dharam Singh and N Rangasamy, and the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi, members of parliament G K Vasan and M M Pallam Raju, telecom secretary Dr J S Sharma also addressed the media on the occasion.

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BSNL to add six crore mobile lines