MTNL launches Voice SMS for subscribers

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New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) In a bid to retain its falling fixed line subscribers, state-run telecom operator MTNL today launched a 'Voice SMS' service with US-based value-added service provider Kirusa.

During 2006-07, about 1.4 lakh customers (Delhi and Mumbai) surrendered their landline phones, with the figure consecutively going down.

The company, however, feels that two of its main initiatives broadband and IPTV launched on a pilot basis have helped MTNL to hold back its customers.

''After the launch of broadband, our customers are coming back and IPTV (cable services) will further improve the situation,'' MTNL Executive Director A K Arora told reporters here.

MTNL is expected to announce more such services in the future, including its much-awaited IPTV in the national capital.

''Our goal is to provide attractive, fault free and cost effective services to our customers.'' ''We target to reach the 40,000 subscriber mark of the IPTV service which will be started in Delhi from June 1,'' he said adding that more than 50 channels can be viewed through IPTV.

In 2004-05, 3.5 lakh subscirber had left the service, while in 2005-06, 2.5 lakh surrendered their phones.

''We are confident that this service will help MTNL retain and extend its position both in Delhi and Mumbai,'' Kirusa CEO Inderpal Singh Mumick said.

MTNL has been offering all fixed line telephones, broadband and IPTV (Internet Protocol on TV or cable TV) on a single line and this would be one of the main features to bring its subscribers back into its fold, Mr Arora said.

For availing the voice SMS service, fixed line and mobile subscribers will pay Re 1 per minute to send, forward or reply messages. The SMS can be heard free of cost for the first time, but a charge of Re 1 per minute will be levied for listening to the message again.

Through this service, MTNL fixed line and mobile subscribers can send their personalised voice SMS to their dear ones across its network within Delhi.

The Voice SMS service will be started in Mumbai soon.


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