It was a dream come true for those, who had never thought of mobile services
in their area. After the expansion of CellOne, BSNL’s mobile services in the
state, the number of mobile-totting people has increased manifold. With coverage
in 85 cities, the mobile has become a necessity rather than a status symbol.
Even after its launch on Oct 19, 2002, the service is still in its infancy. A
lot of work is still required in order to streamline services. Shortage and
black marketeering of SIM cards, network problem, less number of BTS (Best
Transmitting Station), late dispatch and discrepancies in billing are some of
the problems, which need proper attention. The poor state of affairs can be
gauged from the fact that on the one hand, there is acute shortage of Excel
(prepaid) cards and on the other, call completion rate is very low in peak hours
due to poor network.
While the officials claim that the problem was due to the over-whelming
response of the pu-blic, wh-ich was not anti-cipated, BSNL sub-scribers are not
a satisfied lot. When asked why the dep-artment was not taking adequate steps to
make SIM cards available and improve network, VK Shukla, Chief GM (East circle),
BSNL, UP said that BSNL had already apprised its headquarters (in New Delhi)
about the situation.
"As soon as, necessary equipment arrive, the capacity of exchange will
be enhanced and work is already on to enhance the number of towers," he
said. At present, there were over three lakh mobile connections working in the
circle, which included 1,73,543 prepaid and 1,32,826 postpaid cardholders, he
The launch of Reliance (CDMA-based) WLL mobile service and Hutchison-Essar
tie-up have however, provided some relief. While the former is no good as
compared to BSNL services, the latter is trying hard to expand its network to
compete with CellOne. Going by the market response for CellOne, both of them
have started working in this direction seriously.
Lucknow (CyberMedia News)