State run telecom major Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) on Thursday launched its third generation (3G) mobile services, Jadoo, in limited areas of Delhi on an initial investment of about Rs 4 billion (Rs.400 crore).
"We have spent Rs 300-400 crore (Rs 3-4 billion) on the 3G services roll-out so far," MTNL chairman and managing director R S P Sinha told reporters in New Delhi on the sidelines of a conference.
The company can currently support around 150,000 subscribers on its 3G infrastructure, he said.
For activating Jadoo, one needs to pay Rs 500 plus taxes as activation charges and a monthly rental of Rs 599.
A voice call on MTNL's own network will cost 60 paise per minute, where calls to other networks will cost Re 1 per minute.
The domestic and international long distance (STD and ISD) call tariff will be as per the budget plan.
An MTNL-to-MTNL video call will cost Rs 1.80 per minute, while such calls to other networks will cost Rs 3. The voice STD will cost Rs 3.75, and the voice ISD remains as high as Rs 30.
These tariffs are promotional offers from the company, which will be valid for three months.
Sinha said the entire city will be covered in two to three months and the roll out in Mumbai will happen in six months.
Asked about private players' complaints that the public sector company was receiving undue advantage, he said: "Private operators had got undue advantage in 2G services, so why are they getting restless now. It's just a matter of a few months where we have received the spectrum before them."
Private operators had got the spectrum for 2G services in 1995, where the state run companies had got it in 2000.
Sinha added that MTNL was looking for tie ups with 3G handset makers.
Asked about spectrum charges, he said: "We should be charged money when we get spectrum for the entire city."