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MTNL launches 3G mobile services

Posted: 06 Feb 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3G  roll-out  spectrum auction  3G operators 

Today, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has become the first telecom operator to launch 3G mobile services commercially, reports The Economic Times.

The launch comes even as private operators' roll-out plans got further delayed with the 3G spectrum auction policy being referred to a group of ministers (GoM).

Differences between the Department of Telecom (DoT) and the finance ministry over base price and the number of 3G operators in each circle caused the delay.

MTNL competes with private firms, including Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, and Tata Teleservices, in India. State-owned telcos were already granted 3G spectrum last year before the private players, giving them the first mover's advantage. MTNL has earlier said the 3G services will initially be offered free to its high-spending mobile customers.

Motorola is setting up the core network for MTNL for this launch. Initially, services will be launched in central Delhi, including Connaught Place, India Gate, Pragati Maidan, Delhi Gate and Minto Road, says ET. The services will later be extended to Gurgaon. BSNL is also set to launch commercial 3G services soon.

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