3G services across Country by mid-2009: BSNL

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New Delhi, Sep 5: State-run operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) on Friday, Sep 5 said it will complete the roll out of its third generation (3G) mobile services on pan-India basis by the mid-next year.

''We will start our roll out of 3G services in the north and eastern zones by December this year. Subsequently, we will roll out our 3G services pan-India in another six months, so by mid-next year we will have our 3G services across the country,'' BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Kuldeep Goyal told reporters here. BSNL will also close the tender for 93 million GSM lines worth nine billion dollars on September 10.

''Of the 93 million lines, 25 per cent will be set aside for 3G telephony,'' he added.

Mr Goyal said the orders for the equipment required for the roll out of the services have already been placed.

BSNL along with Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) was given a head-start by the Department of Telecommunications to roll out 3G services in the country.

While private telecom companies have to acquire 3G spectrum through a process of bidding, both the public sector units have already been allotted spectrum on a pro-rata basis.

BSNL officials, however, said the perception that the state-run companies will get a head start of three to four months over private players due to the government norms was misplaced.

''The procedures we have to follow for buying technology or equipment are time-consuming because we are a state-run company.

So whatever time we have in hand will be taken away by that,'' he said.

Third generation (3G) mobile phone technology offers much faster communications and also allows users a wide range of other benefits such as high-speed Internet access with global positioning , video calls, fast music and video downloads, interactive gaming.

UNI

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