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Soft launch of 3G mobile service today

Ranchi, Feb. 26: The much-awaited third-generation (3G) mobile service will finally be available in Jharkhand with the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) going for a soft launch in the capital tomorrow.

The service will be available in other big cities such as Dhanbad, Jamshedpur and Bokaro soon after its commercial launch early next month.

“The infrastructure for the new technology is already in place across the state. After the soft launch in Ranchi, we will launch the service commercially very soon,” said BSNL deputy general manager (mobile) Sanjay Kumar.

The 3G network had been launched by the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) in Delhi and Mumbai last year.

The new technology will enable users to watch their favourite television channels on cellphones and surf Internet at a very high speed. As the service also has mobile broadband facility, streaming videos and video chats will be possible — features that are bound to be a hit with youngsters.

Besides, there will be a host of other features — high-resolution colour display, polyphonic sound and built-in video cameras. The 3G network will enable downloading of audio and video content or applications over-the-air, including sports highlights, music videos and multi-user games et al. Officials said that the idea was to provide the users, who are travelling, all the facilities of computing.

At present, the 2G mobile service available in the state operates within the bandwidth of 30 to 200khz. With 3G network, the features will be working at a much higher speed with a bandwidth of 15 to 20mhz.

“It’s all about speed and quality. What takes three minutes to download in your current 2G connection will take only 15 seconds in 3G network,” said an official.

Officials said that though the soft launch would be held tomorrow , the tariff would be announced after the commercial launch early next month. The 3G mobile service will be available both on prepaid and postpaid connections. Subscribers would have to purchase a new SIM card for Rs 300. Sources, however, said that migration from 2G to 3G would not be possible.

BSNL is mainly targeting officials and employees of corporate houses, including public sector undertaking giants in the state, as its customers. Jharkhand has around 12 lakh BSNL subscribers, out of which around five lakh have handsets in which they can avail of 3G services.

BSNL subscribers are anxiously waiting for the new technology. “I want to subscribe to the new service of BSNL as soon as it is launched here,” said Adrish Mukherjee, a businessman.

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