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Blame game on blocked phone calls

New Delhi, Jan 17: Both cellular and fixed-line telephone subscribers were left in the lurch today as private cellular operators on the one hand, and Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam (MTNL) on the other, blamed each other for blocking calls.

Many mobile phone users in Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat were left wondering as to why they could not make calls to certain fixed line phones and vice versa as claims and counter-claims were made by the fixed line (MTNL, BSNL) and private cellular operators.

A senior MTNL official said, “We have not disconnected or blocked any calls from any cellular service providers. We were told that the mobile switching centre of one of the leading cellular operator in Delhi was down.”

S. Guliani, deputy director general BSNL, said: “Our subscribers have not been able to make calls from their fixed line phones in six states. It is for them (cellular operators) to explain as to why our subscribers have not been able to call their subscribers on the cell.”

Hutch marketing head Harit Nagpal said, “There has been a selective blocking in some exchanges. Our call centres have been flooded with complaints that they cannot get through to the fixed line phones in Delhi. The connectivity has been erratic. Something seen during the strike by MTNL employees. We have not been able to get in touch with MTNL officials for the last three hours to get a correct picture of the situation.” An AirTel spokesman said, “There has been no problem in connecting cell-to-cell calls but our subscribers have had problems in getting in touch with fixed line phones.”

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