Telecom services in NE set to improve

Government to take steps to improve telecom services in North-Eastern states.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 18:24 IST

Taking note of poor quality of service and shifting of customer base from BSNL to private players, Government is taking steps to improve telecom services in North-Eastern states.

BSNL offers both fixed line and mobile services in north-eastern region.

Telecom secretary JS Sarma, BSNL chairman A K Sinha along with other officials are in Guwahati to review telecom services of BSNL in the seven North East states where the PSU operates along with other private operators.

The meeting assumes importance for two reasons as private operators, mainly on the wireless front, though entered late, are gradually gaining marketshare with better services along with attractive tariffs.

The other review is on the quality of service of BSNL in this region as due to hilly and mountaineous terrain, signals sometimes either are poor or don't catch at call, leaving customers without connectivity. The meeting also takes into consideration of expansion of mobile serivces network in these states.

The entire North East is bifurcated into two circles -- One is Assam Telecom circle and the other is rest of the North East (six states). Private operators Reliance Telecom, Bharti, Reliance Telecom and Dishnet Wireless are already operating in both the North east circles.

In Assam, BSNL has a GSM subscriber base of 2.61 lakh while Airtel which entered late there has already notched up 1.12 lakh. Reliance Telecom has a subscriber base 1.83 lakh mobile users there.

In North East (Excluding Assam), BSNL, however, still has the edge in subscriber base as it has a mobile user base of 1.66 lakh and private operators are much behind it in numbers. Reliance Telecom has over 52,000 users in North-East (excluding Assam).

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 18:24 IST