Monday, September 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






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Mobile service for all states
15 lakh DoT lines in first phase
From Vipin Sharma

ROHTAK, Sept 3 The Ministry of Telecommunications has reportedly decided to launch its mobile service all over the nation, modifying its previous decision to start the facility in certain selected states on experimental basis.

According to highly placed sources, the ministry has received reports regarding the number of lines required by different states to start mobile service in the country. On the basis of reports the ministry has decided to release nearly 15 lakh lines in the country in the first phase. The process of inviting tenders for the purchase of necessary equipment to start the service is likely to begin by the end of this month.

After a green signal by the Ministry, telecom circle office, Ambala, has chalked out an extensive action plan to start mobile service in the state. Mr N.K. Mangla, Chief General Manager, Telecom Circle Office, Ambala, said as per the plan the towns located along the national highways in the state would be provided the facility in the first phase. He informed that the state would get nearly 60,000 lines for the purpose.

Earlier, the Ministry of Telecommunications had selected Tamil Nadu, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh for the scheme under a pilot project. However it was decided to start the facility throughout the nation. A high-level meeting in this regard was held under the presidentship of Mr R.K. Goel, chairman, telecom commission, recently.

It is learnt the mobile service to be started by the department would be based on the group service mobile (GSM) technique. The services of all the mobile companies functioning in the nation are based on this technique. The technical experts opine that the technique matches with the standards of IMT-2000 technique set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the third generation telecommunication system.

According to sources, a state would get one mobile service switching centre per one lakh lines. The sources revealed that western region of Uttar Pradesh has reported a requirement of nearly 1.12 lakh lines while the eastern region has demanded about 35,000 lines.

The CGM, Mr Mangla said the state was equipped with the basic infrastructure to start mobile service. He said the department would have to instal some towers and hire certain buildings for the purpose. He informed that the department would require approximately 1.25 lakh lines to provide the facility in the state in the next three years. He hoped the service would start by March 2001. He claimed that the service provided by the department would be better and cheaper than that of the private companies as the department would not have to spend much on the scheme. Besides, he said the private companies had a limited number of PCM junctions.
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