MTNL makes incoming calls on mobile phones free

Friday, 28 February 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: State-run telecom giant Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) Thursday said it would levy no charges on incoming calls on its mobile phone service.

"Incoming calls from all services are to be made free for consumers with effect from March 1," said a MTNL statement issued here.

The New York Stock Exchange-listed MTNL provides cellular, fixed-line and limited mobility phone services in New Delhi and Mumbai.

The company's announcement comes within a week of another public sector telecom firm, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), making incoming calls from all networks, whether fixed or cellular, free.

Currently, cellular service providers charge one rupee per minute on an average for incoming calls from fixed-line and wireless telephone network. The mobile-to-mobile incoming calls were made free of cost last month.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) last month said all cellular operators would have to make incoming calls from all networks - fixed-line, wireless in local loop and mobile - free from April 1.

India, one of the fastest growing telecom markets globally, has seen a sharp decline in cellular airtime tariffs and mobile handset prices in the last couple of years as competition has soared with the entry of new players.

The Indian cellular market has for the last few years been the most dynamic segment of the telecom industry and amongst the fastest growing.

The country has about 10.5 million mobile phone users and this is forecast to grow by a compounded 52.5 percent to 30.9 million subscribers through 2005.
Source: IANS
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