The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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MTNL plays its virtual card to woo users
- Telecom major rings in new tariffs for limited mobility service

New Delhi, May 17: Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), the telecom operator in Delhi and Mumbai, today announced a pulse rate of 12 seconds and a standard plan monthly rental of Rs 200 for its limited mobile service Garuda.

The company also launched one more product and service — virtual telephone card and asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) service.

The virtual card will provide the subscriber who does not have a phone connection to make calls and send and receive faxes.

With ADSL, MTNL also has solved the problem of subscribers who were worried about the phone calls that would be missed, because this service is available when the land line is wired onto the net.

ADSL makes the simultaneous use of one telephone connection for both telephony and net surfing a reality.

The opportunities it can offer are aplenty — one can chat on the Net, while another can video teleconference while another family member watches programmes on another PC and yet another makes calls — all utilising the same telephone line simultaneously.

ADSL is designed to work over existing copper wire telephone lines and, therefore, delivers fast and reliable performance without the high cost traditionally associated with either of the other two highly touted access solutions — ISDN and cable modem.

State-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd was the first to spell its plans for launch of this new technology in 1999 under the then chairman and managing director S. Rajagopalan. However, Bharti’s fixed line service company TouchTel launched it in 2001.

Launching the service on the MTNL network, communications minister Arun Shourie called for more stringent norms and penalty clauses for operators and vendors who fail to fulfill given obligations.

“The private operators have managed not to provide village public telephones and equipment suppliers have not been meeting the required standards. This can be taken care only by stringent penalty clauses in agreements,” said Shourie.

Taking a dig at the media and private operators, Shourie said, “Telecom companies are trying to capture the market through the media by planting stories against each other. They should be in the market fighting the war and not (hiding) behind the media to attack each other.”

The tariff announced by MTNL includes a standard tariff plan with a monthly rental of Rs 200 while the call made to limited mobile phone and cellphones would be charged at the rate of 55 paise per minute (11 paise per pulse of 12 seconds). Under this plan, calls made to fixed phones would cost 75 paise per minute.

Besides the standard tariff plan, as per a Trai order, the public sector telecom company has also announced three different plans — Silver, Gold and Platinum — with an eye on different segments of consumers.

The Silver plan with a monthly rental of Rs 399 would attract 50 paise per minute for calls made to limited mobile or cellular phones while calls to landline phones would cost 70 paise per minute.

These plans which were submitted to Trai earlier this week will be applicable subject to the clearance from the regulator.

Under the Gold tariff plan, a subscriber will pay a monthly rental of Rs 699 and pay 45 per minute for calls to limited mobile and cellphones and calls can be made to made to fixed phones at 65 paise per minute (13 paise per pulse).

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