BSNL plans more mobile phone towers for Himachal

Thursday, 11 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh's mobile phone subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) may soon find some respite from frequent service disruptions with the state-run telecom giant installing more towers, say officials.

"Currently there are 122 towers in the state which can hold 93,000 subscribers, but our subscribers have already crossed the 100,000 mark," says Rajinder Singh, BSNL Himachal Pradesh circle chief.

"A total of 270 towers will be erected in the state, most will come up in the next six months," he said.

"The multi-million project would cater to 221,000 capacity," he said.

Such an expansion is being done for the first time after BSNL started mobile services in the state three years ago.

"The existing network in districts would also be strengthened with additional towers since the maximum load would again fall on developed townships as the switch network capacity increases," Singh said.

The thrust of the expansion plan would be on providing connectivity to interior parts of the state, including the mountainous tribal belt that falls in the high altitude zone.

Officials say private mobile service provider Nokia will undertake the entire job of installing the towers.

The equipment is expected to reach all destinations by the end of the year.

Airtel and BSNL have been running neck and neck in roping subscribers but the BSNL of late has lagged behind as its prepaid cards are not available at most places.

"There are no pre-paid cards in Shimla and other places as well," said Ram Singh Verma,a local resident.

"I hope the installation of more towers will help increase the BSNL signal, which is currently poor even in the state capital Shimla," said Rajesh Sood, a local trader.

Private limited mobility player Reliance recently also launched an expansion programme in the state.

Last month, Himachal became the first state in the country to have a ten-digit Reliance mobile number called the '93 series' to be started all over the country.

The company is in the process of expanding its services to 69 towns in the state in the next six months.

Source: IANS
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