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BSNL to invest Rs 19,400 cr

BSNL is planning to invest over Rs 19,400 cr mainly on the expansion of its mobile and broadband services.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2006 17:41 IST

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is planning to invest over Rs 19,400 crore during the next financial year mainly on the expansion of its mobile and broadband services, a top company official has said.

While most part of the investment would come from internal accruals of BSNL, the coporation may resort to borrowing of Rs 5,000-6,000 crore from the market, S D Saxena, Director (Finance), BSNL said.

The investment plan has been finalised by the corporation and is yet to be ratified by the Planning Commission.

Saxena said nearly 80 per cent of the investment would go into expansion of mobile network and broadband, besides upgradation of switching system, wireless and other IT related services.

Expansion of the mobile network would be part of BSNL's proposed mega tender for 60 million GSM lines envisaging an investment of over four billion dollar.

Saxena said that amid fierce competition, especially in the mobile services, broadband would become the mainstay for telecom companies like BSNL.

BSNL, which recently cut fixed line tariffs by about 28 per cent, has been struggling to check the rate of surrender of phones.

"With good quality of services and the recent tariff cut, we are sure to arrest the trend and hope to retain our customers and broadband is likely to play an important role for this," he said.

For 2006-07, BSNL would lay 20 million lines across the country of which 80 per cent would be mobile. This is being done to meet immediate demand, BSNL officials said, adding the corporation would also aim at covering 14,000 villages with one telephone in each village over the next two years.

These would be covered through satellite phone and HFCL would provide the phone equipments.

For the remaining three months in the current fiscal, the PSU hopes to add eight million mobile lines with two million each in the four zones under its ongoing expansion plan of adding 14 million lines.

First Published: Jan 04, 2006 13:27 IST