Though a state-run behemoth often accused of bureaucratic tardiness, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd is aggressively competing with private players. The company, which has led the way in high-speed broadband, voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) and IP television services, has more than one lakh 3G subscribers within a month of the launch of full-fledged services.
MTNL’s chairman and managing director RSP Sinha spoke to Hindustan Times about the milestones and the plan ahead. Excerpts.
MTNL was a late entrant in GSM services and we missed the mobile growth in the beginning. 3G has come as an opportunity for us to take lead over our competitors.
By November 8, we had added one lakh subscribers. In Mumbai, the full-fledged services were launched on November 9. I expect the same story to be repeated in Mumbai. By the end of this financial year we will have a 3G subscriber base of about six lakh.
On broadband services
When we launched broadband services on the latest technology (ADSL 2+), people were sceptical as it was the latest in the world and we were the second company in the world to launch this technology. Today, we account for over 90 per cent of the total market in Delhi and Mumbai and it adds Rs 450 crore per annum to our revenue. MTNL is also responsible for bringing down broadband tariffs.
On 2G mobile services
We suffered due to late entry in the market. On April1, 2004, our market share was hardly 5 per cent with a customer base of 3.6 lakh and the revenue was only Rs 180 crore.
Today, we have a subscriber base of over 44 lakh and account for 15 per cent of the market. Our revenue from mobile services is in the region of Rs 850 crore.