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Pune is first city in country to roll out 3G services

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Brain Behind Supercomp
Third generation (3G) mobile services have arrived in India and Pune will be the first city to sample it. Beginning Tuesday, around 2,000 ‘high value’ customers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited will be able to access 3G services at select areas of the city if their phones are 3G enabled. Third generation services will also be provided only in Pune city, not Pune rural. BSNL has three lakh mobile customers in the city. BSNL has invested Rs 300 crore to enable over 198 city Base Transmission Stations (BTS) towers with third generation equipment, before the commercial launch six months down the line.
“We have selected 10 spots in the city where these services will be made available for around 2,000 customers of the Rs 750 plan. Within two km of the 10 BTS that are 3G enabled, customers will be able to access 3G services. There will be no additional cost for the time being as we are in the trail period, customers will be able to access 3G services at 2G rates,” said Chandra Prakash, Chief General Manager, Maharashtra circle, BSNL.
The 10 3G hot spots in Pune are the exchanges at Satara Road, Bajirao Road, Bhavani Peth, MHS – Camp, Atur Park, Shivaji Nagar, Model Colony, Janavadi, Chinchwad and Bal Gandharva. Once the 3G spectrum is auctioned, BSNL will provide this service at 56 cities in the state, said Prakash.
For the time being though, telephone users of BSNL will only be able to make video calls (as against audio calls in 2G) among all the 3G services. Principal General Manager V K Mahendra said that the rest of the 3G services are still in the testing stage at BSNL.
However, when 3G is launched commercially, it will make possible other services like video conferencing, online gaming, high speed internet, video streaming, live IPTV, video-on demand on 3G enabled mobile phones.
“We have been asked to design the equipment for 20 per cent of the customer base,” said Neeraj Sinha, Alcatel-Lucent, the vendor company for BSNL.
At present, BSNL is waiting for 3G spectrum to be officially auctioned. “The cost of the services will depend upon the auction of the spectrum. The number of people opting for 3G services will also matter, but it will still be expensive if the spectrum is auctioned at a high price,” said Mahendra.
While 3G services never took off in Europe because of high call charges, it has seen relative success in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries. In Korea,. 3G is enabling online gaming over phones. “In the APEC countries, the costs are over 20-30 per cent higher than 2G services,” said Sinha.


Wise Old Owl
Already posted,
btw, A.Raja said that 3G bid will happen end-october and he also expect that service is gonna available in December


Beyond Smart
Already posted,
btw, A.Raja said that 3G bid will happen end-october and he also expect that service is gonna available in December

Bidding will take place in December. Dont expect 3G before 2nd quarter of 2009.


The Frozen Nova
I wouldn't mind it starting a bit late and being affordable rather than starting earlier and being unaffordable.
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