Airtel could share infrastructure with state telecom player

Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 08:00 Hrs
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Chennai: Leading telecom service provider Bharti Airtel Ltd has started discussing sharing of infrastructure with state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).

BSNL had earlier announced its willingness to share its extensive infrastructure network with private telecom operators.

Addressing the media here Wednesday, Deepak Mehrotra, director south, Bharti Airtel, said: "Telecom circle heads have started talking to the chief general managers of BSNL in this connection."

He said the company already shares infrastructure with other GSM (global system for mobile communication) players.

"In the case of mobile phone operators using code division multiple access (CDMA) technology, there is an issue with signal compatibility. Hence, sharing of infrastructure with CDMA players is not very much in vogue," Mehrotra pointed out.

The company has chalked out aggressive network expansion plans in Tamil Nadu.

According to Mehrotra, the company would increase the number of cell sites by over 2,700 to 6,700 by end March next year.

"We will also triple our short messaging service (SMS) capacity to 5,850 messages per second by next March," he said.

In rural areas the company would increase its coverage to 17,000 villages in Tamil Nadu from the existing 10,000.

Mehrotra declined to comment on the amount invested by Airtel towards network expansion.

The company has tied up with Ericsson and Nokia for hardware.

Queried about the possible impact on the company when mobile number portability comes into operation, he said: "For us number portability is an opportunity and not a threat."
Source: IANS
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