Tata Infocomm to enter Himachal

Monday, 29 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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SHIMLA: Tata Infocomm is all set to enter the growing mobile market in Himachal Pradesh.

The company plans to start services early next year to join three other players here - Bharti Telnet, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Reliance Infocomm.

"We are in the last leg of installing infrastructure across the state and hope to start services by Jan 26," said a Tata Infocomm official here who did not want to be named.

"We will also sell our own mobile sets that will match the best in the market," the official said.

Public sector giant BSNL also plans to improve its service. Faced with jammed lines, it has announced setting up 270 new towers across the state to add to the current lot of 122.

"Most of the towers, to be installed by Nokia for us, will be set up in the next six months and will help us more than double our customers," state BSNL chief Rajinder Singh said.

Reliance Infocomm, which started services in October, plans to reach 69 towns, covering 10 of the 12 districts, in the next six months.

Despite 90 percent of its population living in villages, mobile telephony has turned into a huge industry in Himachal Pradesh.

The Cellular Operators Association of India in its October quarter ending estimated 273,434 subscribers.

Bharti Telnet leads the market with 155,872 customers, followed by BSNL (100,582) and Reliance Telecom (17,447).

A year ago, Shimla became the first hill town in the country to outnumber landlines. Himachal Pradesh has a population of over six million.

Source: IANS
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