Friday, March 13, 2015

BSNL launches NGN services in Bangalore

State-owned telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) launches Next Generation Network (NGN) technology in its fixed line telephony and plans to invest around Rs.1,000 crore in upgrading the time-division multiplexing (TDM) technology, a statement said on Friday. NGN technology will provide both fixed line and broadband from same telephone exchange. "At present, BSNL plans to convert 14 million telephone lines with NGN technology. This is expected to cover more than 80 percent urban customers and approximately 90 percent rural customers," the statement said. "However, it is expected that entire fixed line customers will have NGN facility by December, 2017. Initially, BSNL plans to invest approximately Rs.1,000 crore in upgrading the TDM technology with NGN technology," it added. The voice call on this new technology will be made available at the same rate at which the fixed telephone is made available by BSNL as on date. However, BSNL would like to charge something extra for video calls. Introduction of this technology will help India to achieve Digital India & Make in India project, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said during the launch.
Minister also expressed hope that NGN may also help expansion of Jan Dhan Yojana, which has already seen a great success from the day it has been launched by Prime Minister of India. Secretary (Telecom) & Chairman Telecom Commission DoT Rakesh Garg,  Special Secretary (T) DOT Rita Teaotia ,  CMD BSNL Anupam Image result for BSNLShrivastava, and  Director (CFA & CM) BSNL N.K. Gupta also spoke on the occasion. BSNL has more than 36000 telephone exchanges out of which more than 28000 are in rural areas.  These exchanges are working on TDM switching technology which provides voice only. Separate gateways are required to inter-connect existing TDM switches with IP Network and mobile switching technology.  NGN technology will provide both fixed line and broadband from same telephone exchange.

Govt rules out privatisation of BSNL, MTNL

Government ruled out privatisation of BSNL and MTNL even as it admitted that the two state-run telecom service providers were not in the pink of their health. Responding to a supplementary during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the intention of the government was to bring them back to profitability. "The financial health of MTNL and BSNL are not in good shape. There are several reasons for this which I want to discuss in the House in greater detail one day. However, we will make them healthy," he said. His comments follow Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete's statement in Parliament two days ago that five public sector undertakings (PSUs) which are in the list of 65 sick PSUs would be closed down. The list of sick PSUs include MTNL, Air India and Hindustan Shipyard. The five PSUs to be closed down include three HMT units, Geete had said. He, however, did not name the other PSUs which are slated to be shut. "There is no plan to close down MTNL," Prasad told PTI when asked if MTNL is among the probable PSUs that would be shut down.
MTNL, which provides telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai, has been losing market share over the last many years. It's market share in wireless has come down to 0.36% and wireline to 13.10% at the end of January. The government is taking various measures to revive MTNL which includes refund the amount MTNL paid for acquiring broadband wireless spectrum (BWA) in 2010. The government had also approved pension support to MTNL for about 43,000 employees who joined the state-run firm from the Department of Telecom. MTNL had reported a standalone net loss of Rs 730.83 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2014.

All India MNP from 3rd May 2015

Telecom regulator TRAI is all set to introduce PAN India Mobile Number Portability from 3rd May 2015 which will allow mobile customers to port in to any network across India without number change. Presently MNP allows to port in to any network within same circle but after 3rd May mobile customers can shift to any network of any circle across India. TRAI has issued sixth amendment to Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation 2009 to implement PAN India MNP. This is going to benefit people who are shifting from one state to another and now mobile number can stay with customers for their entire life no matter where they stay in India.
TRAI has also reduced the time period for ported mobile number to return to original telecom operator to which the number belongs from 90 days to 60 days.  New regulation has also taken care of the possibilities of default from postpaid customers while shifting to new circle and new telecom operator. If any postpaid customer defaults  the donor operator can request recipient operator to disconnect such numbers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

TRAI issues Regulation on Domestic carriage charges

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued the “Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges (Twelfth Amendment) Regulations” which prescribe a revised domestic carriage charge of 35 paisa per minute. An Access Service provider in India offers access services within the Licensed Service Area (LSA) only.  Inter-LSA calls have to be routed through a National Long Distance Operator (NLDO).  The charges to be paid by an access provider to the NLDO to cover the cost for carrying inter-LSA calls are called carriage charges. TRAI had prescribed the carriage charges through the Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC) Regulations of 23rd February, 2006 which stipulated a ceiling of 65 paisa per minute.  These charges were reviewed again in 2008/2009 but the same ceiling of 65 paisa per minute was retained.  To review the IUC, the Authority issued a Consultation Paper on 19.11.2014 to seek the views of stakeholders on various component of IUC including domestic carriage charges. Stakeholders were asked to submit written comments by 11.12.2014 and counter-comments by 18.12.2014. On the request of some stakeholders, the dates for submission of comments and counter-comments were extended up-to 22.12.2014 and 29.12.2014 respectively. Written comments were received from two industry associations, 15 TSPs and 47 other stakeholders, including companies, organizations, firms and individuals. Counter-comments were received from six TSPs and one individual. An Open House Discussion was held on 09.01.2015 in Delhi with stakeholders.
On the basis of comments received from stakeholders either in writing or during the Open House Discussion and internal analysis, the Authority has reduced the ceiling of the domestic carriage charge to 35 paisa per minute from the existing 65 paisa per minute through these Regulations which will be effective from 1st March, 2015.  TRAI has already issued regulations prescribing Mobile Termination Charge and Fixed Termination Charge and International Termination Charge on 23rd February, 2015. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

CBI arrests BSNL Patiala GM in Bribery case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a General Manager, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd(BSNL), Patiala(Punjab) and a Contractor (private person) in a bribery case of Rs.One Lakh. A case was received on a complaint alleging that a BSNL contractor (private person) was demanding Rs.3 lakhs on behest of a General Manager ranked officer of BSNL for settling the dispute of damages/cuts caused on the optical fibre cables of BSNL, Patiala. Accordingly, BSNL, Patiala had raised demand notes for such damages of its OFC at a rate of Rs.1.50 lakhs per cut for eight such cuts. The contractor came in contact with the complainant and assured him that he would get settled the said matter if the alleged bribe was paid to the BSNL officer through him. CBI laid a trap wherein the Contractor was caught while demanding & accepting bribe of Rs.One Lakh from the complainant on behalf of the General Manager. The GM was also arrested. Searches were carried out at the residential premises of the accused.