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Top call: The Union Minister for Communication & Information Technology, Mr A. Raja (centre), flanked by the CMD of BSNL, Mr Kuldeep Goyal, and the DoT Secretary, Mr Siddhartha Behura, at the launch of BSNL 3G mobile services in Chennai on Sunday. - R. Raghu
Chennai, Feb. 22 BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd) launched 3G mobile services from Chennai on Sunday.

The national launch of the third generation mobile service in Chennai enables a range of upgraded services, including rich voice, data and video services, to the subscribers.

3G makes possible video streaming applications such as Live TV, movie downloads, high speed data download on mobile phones with 3G services enabled.

Callers can also see each other on their mobile phone screens, according to a press release from BSNL.

The new service will offer data speed of 2 Mbps against 144 Kbps available now over the GPRS and EDGE enabled mobile networks.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, launched the service with an inaugural call to the Union Minister for Communication and IT, Mr A. Raja, the release said.

BSNL is the first mobile company to launch the service in Chennai. Chennai Telephones has installed 25 stations (Node-Bs) in the city for the initial launch and these would be expanded fast.

BSNL plans to invest over Rs 2,700 crore to provide 3G service in important cities, commercially important towns and all the district headquarters.

The Communications Minister said BSNL plans to cover more than 700 cities with 3G services. The mobile network has been expanded making India emerge the second largest mobile telephone market after China.

Over 360 million mobile connections have been provided and this is expected to double by 2012. Teledensity has reached 34 per cent in January 2009 up from 12.74 per cent in 2006.

New initiatives such as bringing down tariff to 40-50 paise a minute, mobile number portability — allowing subscribers to retain their number while changing operators — are in the pipeline.
Courtesy: Business Line