Cellular News
 
Date:27/03/2001 
Ericsson the world third biggest mobile handset supplier, said it was cutting a total of 3,300 jobs in Sweden and Britain, where it would stop production at two mobile phone plants, which it aimed to sell.  
 
Date:26/03/2001 
Escotel, a leading cellphone operator, has reworked its debt under which ICICI would lead arrange a Rs 525 crore loan for the company. Besides, it has got an extension of two years on repayment of moratorium from its foreign lenders. Escotel, which provides cellphone services to about 3.2 lakh people in Haryana, UP(West) and Kerala, has a foreign debt of about Rs 340 crore and domestic debt of about Rs 380 crore. 
 
Date:25/03/2001 
Spice Telecom, a cellular service provider in Punjab, has launched spice education helpline service to provide career counselling to students of class 10 to class 10+2. 
 
Date:23/03/2001 
The German electronics giant Siemens said on Thrusday that it expects the European mobile phone market to start taking off again from this summer. The head of Siemens information communication division said "I'm quite sure that the market will recover from the middle of the year onwards". 
 
Date:22/03/2001 
AirTel, Bharti's mobile phone services, will introduce next month a bouquet of services like chat, messenger and location and routes for its WAP and SMS subscribers. Although details for these sevices are still being finalised, Bharti is working with three vendors for launching these services - Baba Bazaar for chat, Manchitra and AroundTown for location and routes and Asia Cybernet for messenger offering. 
 
Date:21/03/2001  
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. announced the launch of its cellular phone service in 39 towns, including all the 32 district headquarter, in Rajasthan with an introductory concession scheme. A rebate from four to ten per cent would be available on a slab basis in bimonthly for consumers who make more than 1000 calls, chief GM of Rajasthan circle, R N Bharadwaj said. 
 
Date:21/03/2001  
Market leader Nokia and electronics giant Siemens introduced new mobile phones on Wednesday that transmit data four times as quickly as current models, offering users quicker access to the Internet while they wait for so called third generation phones to arrive. Using the GPRS technology, the new phones can transmit signals at 20 kilobits to 40 kilobits, compared to the current speed of 9.6 kilobits.
  
Date:21/03/2001  
In a major policy decision, DoT has decided to permit operators who have defaulted in licences for cellular service. The move will benefit Koshika and Aircell Digilink as they will be able to bid for the fourth cellular licences, the tender for which will be available from March 23. The last date for submission of bids is June 8. 
 
Date:20/03/2001  
The parliamentary commitee on Information Technology headed by Somnath Chatterjee has asked DoT to consider bringing down the entry fee and revenue sharing for the cellular operators. This would ensure a level playing field for the cellular operators vis-a-vis the basic telecom service providers.   
 
Date:20/03/2001  
Delhi has overtaken Mumbai as the metro with the maximum number of cellular subscribers in the country. Delhi recorded a 6.6 per cent growth at 5.19 lakh subscribers in February, 2001 as against 4.8 lakh units in January this year, figures released by Cellular Operators Association of India said today. 
 
Date:20/03/2001  
After showing a significant increase in past few months, the growth rate in mobile phone usage has slumped for the first time in February 2001. This amounts to a decline as against the total cell subscribers base of 32,75,079 in January 2001. However, the subscriber base in the country increasd by 1,40,000 in the month of February.  
 
Date:16/03/2001  
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today directed cellular operators to refund any amount separately charged from subscribers towards wireless planning and coordination (WPC) charges and said that doing so is in contravention of the provisions of the Telecommunication Tariff Order (TTO). 
 
Date:15/03/2001  
In Delhi, Hutchison-Essar Telecom has launched two post paid plans - "Talk 500" and "Talk 1000". Under Talk 500, the tariff for an incoming call is Rs 1.50 and outgoing calls is Rs 2.65 per minute. Under the Talk 1000 scheme, an outgoing call rate is Rs 1.25 per minute and incoming call rate is Rs 2.25 per minute.  
 
Date:15/03/2001  
Hutchison-Essar Telecom today indicated that it might not bid for the fourth cellular licence on offer in the country. Instead, it will concentrate on providing limited mobility services that are based on the wireless-in-local loop (WiLL) platform.  
 
Date:15/03/2001  
Motorola is again slashing its workforce, eliminating 7,000 positions in its cellular phone division in an effort to introduce inventory that is building because of a slowing economy. With these 7,000 job cuts, Motorola has reduced its workforce by more than 10 per cent, getting rid of 9,000 jobs since December. 
 
Date:15/03/2001  
The Telecom Dispute Settlement Tribunal (TDSAT) today ordered BSNL to restore status quo on points of interconnect offered to cellular operators, while fixing April 3 as date for hearing the petition challenging TRAI decision on interconnect norm. 
 
Date:13/03/2001  
In its first round of equipment procurement BSNL is purchasing CDMA-based WiLL( Wireless in Local Loop) equipment worth Rs. 1,800 crore for providing 6 lakh lines in villages. BSNL will also procure GSM systems  ( used in cellular mobile services) for the village telephones during next round of tendering. An internal committee of BSNL said that both GSM and CDMA technologies are suited for rural areas. 
 
Date:12/03/2001  
One out of every 15 BPL Mobile customers in Kerala is a fisherman. The ratio is going up and talks are on with fisherman's co-operatives to offer 10,000 mobiles at competitive prices. This shows that mobile phone is no more a status symbol in India and it also confirms BPL's rationale of "connectivity for the common man" and also how target markets can be "communities of interest" around certain commodities.  
 
Date:12/03/2001  
The government has offered spectrum facility to some cellular operators about which an issue was raised in Rajya Sabha demanding the government to make a detailed statement on the criteria by which spectrum facility was granted to specific cellular operators and carry out an investigation into the possible grant of special favours to operators. The charge was that the process by which this was done at present was a patent violation of the national telecom policy.  
 
Date:09/03/2001  
The war between BSNL ( Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited ) and MTNL ( Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited ) both government owned entities has entered into cellular services sector also. BSNL is planning to bid for the fourth cellular service licence in Delhi and Mumbai.MTNL recently started its operations in these two metros having 10,000 subscribers in Delhi and 7,000 in Mumbai.  

DoT will be issuing tender document for fourth cellular licences from 23rd March. Last date for submitting the bids is June 8. After the opening up of basic telecom service segment, last month MTNL applied for licences for operating basic telecom services in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, UP(West), Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. In all these areas BSNL is the big player in Basic telecom. 
 
 
Date:09/03/2001  
Cellular companies in Andhra Pradesh namely Tata Cellular and AirTel are at war for press releases.The moment one offers a better package the other releases a press note. In a latest such instance AirTel announced 'Just One' package which allows its post paid subscribers to pay just Re 1 for incoming calls, Rs. 4 for outgoing calls and a monthly rental of Rs. 499. Within hours Tata cellular in a reaction to competition announced that the prices are being reduced on select plans with monthly rental upto Rs. 300. 
 
Date:09/03/2001  
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology has recommended that DoT should take care in consultation with TRAI to see that advantages given to Basic Services Operators in the form of limited mobility should not act as deterrent to the expansion of cellular operations. It recommended that continuous review should be made to the effect of decisions taken in consistence with interests of consumers and faster expansion of telecom network and affordable tariff. The committee has also recommended the DoT to consider equitable, cost-based and non-discriminatory inter-connection access charges. 
 
Date:08/03/2001  
The latest cellular subscriber figures released by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), reveal that the total cellular subscriber base in the country continues to swell. The total number of subscribers on an all-India basis has reached 3.27 million in January 2001, a straight jump of 100 per cent from January 2000 figures of 1.66 million.  
 
Date:08/03/2001  
Samsung on Wednesday launched its first mobile phone using code divisional multiple access (CDMA) technology in India, soon after the government allowed the basic operators to provide limited mobility. The company also announced the launch of three GSM phone models and said it will invest $1 million over the next six months in setting up 50 sales and service centres for its telecom product range.   
 
Date:08/03/2001  
Cellular Networks across several states have been facing problems with network congestion following an attempt by the state owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to force cellular operators to have only a single point of interconnection (POI) in each circle with its network. Even the TRAI had asked on March 2 to restore multiple POIs, BSNL has still not fully compiled with the TRAI order.  
 
Date:05/03/2001  
Mumbai has added a record 52,000 plus new cellular subscribers in February. This is 53 per cent more than 34,000 subscribers added in Mumbai in January and almost a third of the all-India increase in the mobile phone subscription base in January.  
 
Date:04/03/2001  
Spice Telecom has extended the already existing north roaming facility to New Delhi. This facility which was only available for Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, is now being extended to cover Delhi region. While on autoroam in Delhi, a subscriber can receive incoming calls from anywhere.  
 
Date:02/03/2001  
The bidding process for fourth cellular licences will begin on Monday. The department of telecommunications will invite first rounds of bids in a multi-stage bidding process. The companies will be asked to submit their bids within a month. The bidding process will have three stages. There will be a prequalification round that the bidders meet the eligibility criteria,and that there will be three round of financial bidding.  
 
Date:26/02/2001  
The entry of the third operator seems to have dramatically expanded the size of the cellular market in Mumbai. Less than 15 days after cellular operators in Mumbai slashed tarrifs and MTNL's cellular service which operates under the brandname Dolphin opened registrations, operators are talking of a 35-50 per cent jump in subscriber numbers for the month.  
 
Date:24/02/2001  
Ericsson is introducing a personal Internet mobile device in the Indian market. Developed specifically for wireless use, R380 smartphone combines the functions of a mobile phone with communications features like WAP, SMS, email and personal digital assistant.  
 
Date:22/02/2001  
International Finance Corporation is finalising a deal with the RPG Group for acquiring 18.5 per cent stake in RPG Cellular Investments & Holdings Pvt Ltd, the group's umbrella company for it's cellular ventures. Sources said the two have already reached an in-principle decision on the deal.  
 
Date:20/02/2001  
Two of the country's biggest cellular operators Bharti of Sunil Mittal and BPL of R Chandrasekhar are seen to be in talks with each other for a possible merger of their cellular business. This may be the biggest merger deal in corporate India. If the merger go through, it would create the mother of all cellular companies with over 1.1 million subscribers at the current level.  
 
Date:19/02/2001  
Within 10 days of its cellular service launch in Delhi, MTNL has achieved a subscriber base of 8,000. About 10,500 people have applied for the MTNL cellular conncetions. Only 100 have sought refund of the registration fee, said CGM MTNL(cell)  
 
Date:19/02/2001  
Microsoft will begin consumer tests of a "smart phone"this summer, extending a late, but determined thrust into mobile devices that started with the PocketPC handheld computers. The software maker planned to show off the latest prototypes of a cellphone powered by its "Stinger" operating system on Monday at 3GSM World Congress, a wireless industry conference in France.  
 
Date:18/02/2001  
Bharti Group is all set to take over Punj-Lloyd promoted broadband service provider Spectranet.The expected size of the deal would be Rs.200-250 crore.Bharti's cellular service and Spectranet's fibre optic cable will be a perfect mix. Both the companies operate in Delhi and Banglore. This deal will be precedent setting one as this is the first take over in convergence space.  
 
Date:17/02/2001  
Tata Cellular announced a new price for its pre-paid card 'Freedom' at Rs. 499/- in Andhra Pradesh. This is expected to significantly increase the cellular subscriber base making it more affordable to a larger segment of people in cities and in smaller towns.  
 
Date:17/02/2001  
Siemens , the German multinational is one of the fastest growing global manufacturer of mobile phones.A three day conference of opinion leaders was held in Seville (Spain) which focussed on this company's strong bid to dominate the burgeoning mobile telephony segment  by offering total solutions for information and communications needs.The markets for mobile devices, mobile infrastructure and mobile applications is valued to be US$ 300 billion by 2004.  
 
Date:17/02/2001  
Voice Mail and Audiotex services have been thrown open for 100% FDI and will not attract any entry or licence fee.The service providers will have to submit performance bank guarantees of Rs. 3 lakh for each licence.The government stated that these services can be provided as valu-added services by basic, cellular and cable service providers over their networks.  
 
Date:16/02/2001  
AirTel's Delhi network became the first single cellular network in India to have 3,00,000 subscribers.   
 
Date:16/02/2001  
MTNL received 2000 applications on the first day of its registration for mobile phone service Dolphin in  Mumbai.  
 
Date:16/02/2001  
BPL Mobile and Hutchison Max the cellular service providers in Mumbai have together withdrawn the free night talk from the standard tariff plan which was cut down to Rs.1.60 per minute for incoming and Rs.2.80 per minute for outgoing calls. The facility will remain for subscribers who opt for higher value tariff plans which assure a certain minimum airtime usage which could vary from Rs. 500 to Rs. 2000 per month.MTNL is not offering free night talk facility.  
 
Date:16/02/2001  
BPL mobile to cut pre-paid tariffs to Rs. 3 per minute putting the pre-paid customers at par with the post-paid subscribers.The new tariff will be effective from tomorrow.BPL mobile has also decided to provide SMS services to its pre-paid subscribers.Hutchison the other service provider in mumbai is already providing this facility to its pre-paid subscribers from December 2000.  
 
Date:15/02/2001  
Valentine's Day messages blocked all voice calls on Thailand's largest cellular phone network. The network was flooded with more than 100,000 text messages sent within an hour using cellphones.  
 
Date:15/02/2001  
MTNL will start registration for its mobile phone service Dolphin in  Mumbai today. It already launched its operations in Delhi a month ago.  
 
Date:14/02/2001  
Both the cellular service providers in Mumbai namely BPL Mobile and Hutchison slashed their mobile tariffs to Rs.1.60 per minute for incoming and Rs.2.80 per minute for outgoing calls to counter the tariff structure announced by the new enterant MTNL that is Rs. 1.50 per minute for incoming and Rs.2.70 per minute for outgoing.The new tariff structure will be effective from 15th Feb 2001.Hutchison also announced a cut in pre-paid tariff to Rs. 3 per minute.  
 
Date:13/02/2001  
As part of its strategy to move all its strategic companies into the holding company, the Bharti group is offering equity to New York Life in Bharti Televentures. New York Life will swap its stake in Bharti Cellular, the cell operator for Delhi, to move into the holding company as strategic investor.  
 
Date:13/02/2001  
The Delhi High Court today asked Delhi Police to investigate any overcharging of subscribers by cellular operator in the capital. The direction to this effort followed a writ petition by AirTel operator, Bharti Cellular Ltd. (BCL), seeking quashing of an FIR against it by the police.  
 
Date:11/02/2001  
BPL Mobile will play the 'value added services' card aggressively over the next two months as a counter to MTNL's plans to offer cellular services at heavily discounted prices. First on the anvil are plans to introduce mobile internet services. 
 
Date:11/02/2001  
Bhagwan D Khurana, an executive director with Bharti group, has joined as group president, Reliance Infocom, and vice-chairman, Reliance Telecom. As the vice chairman of Reliance Telecom, he is believed to have been trusted with the task of synergising the operations of Reliance Infocom and Reliance Telecom. The Reliance Group had recently announced that all future telecom projects of the group would be implemented through Reliance Infocom. This includes basic service projects, domestic and international long distance and bidding for the fourth operator slot in cellular circles.  
 
Date:09/02/2001  
A pioneering 18-year study of over 420,000 cellphone users has shown no increase in cancer risk. The research conducted by the National Cancer Institute in Denmark is the longest and largest study ever undertaken.    
 
Date:09/02/2001  
For the first time in India, the cellular operator for Delhi, AirTel has introduced a new service to ensure uninterrupted strong signals in heavy traffic buildings. AirTel has entered into an arrangement with all major hotel chains, hospitals shopping malls, airport and critical corporate buildings to give a strong indoor signal.   
 
Date:09/02/2001  
NTT DoCoMo has found a software in its latest Web-linking phone, of which 230,000 have been sold, it said today. The latest in the series of DoCoMo cellphone bugs causes the phone to turn off when accessing some website. When the power is turned back on, data stored in the cellphones can be erased.  
 
Date:07/02/2001  
Having failed to keep its January 31 date with mobile customers in Delhi, MTNL is trying desperately to ensure that it meets its February 28 deadline for Mumbai. As of now it's very much touch and go in Mumbai as well, for the company's billing system is only expected to be ready by February 20. It would then need to be tested. It's not clear if this can be done by February 28.  
 
Date:07/02/2001  
Dolphin, the much-awaited cellular service of MTNL, was launched in Delhi today. The services would be available to the customers from tomorrow. The compay expects to break even in the second year of operation. The company is expecting a monthly revenue of Rs 1,000 per user.  
 
Date:06/02/2001  
There is a huge rush for licences of basic telecom service sector since the government opened up the sector - to be precise, 13 companies have applied for 103 licences. And if they all come in, the entry fee would be a stunning Rs 4,000 crore.  
 
Date:31/01/2001  
MTNL on Wednesday deferred the launch of its much awaited cellular services Dolphin in Delhi to February 7 in order to conduct network optimisation tests, a top company official said.  
 
Date:31/01/2001  
Wireless technology company Qualcomm is planning to unveil technology enabling standard software programs to work on a diverse range of mobile phones, the Wall Street Journal reported. Qualcomm said its binary runtime environment for wireless technology would let customers run software on mobile phones from different manufacturers.  
 
Date:31/01/2001  
Japan's NTT DoCoMo Internet-enabled mobile phone service has launched support for richer graphics, games and e-commerce based on Sun Microsystem's Java programming language, the companies said yesterday. DoCoMo's Internet-enabled imode phones have drummed up more than 18 million subscribers in less than two years, but the service had been mostly text based.  
 
Date:29/01/2001  
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) refund order will hit the cellular operators in metros, especially in Mumbai and Delhi. According to the rough estimates, the operators will have to cough up more than Rs 400 crore to pay back the amount overcharged from the subscribers. More than 60 per cent of this will be from the cellular operators in the metros.  
 
Date:29/01/2001  
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), which had originally set January 31 as the launch date for its Dolphin cellular service in the Capital, is now unlikely to do so. Sources said that the company may reduce its tariff further in order to make it more competitive vis-a-vis Airtel and Essar, which recently countered MTNL's tariffs.   
 
Date:29/01/2001  
Sony Corp and NTT DoCoMo Inc said today that they will take their plans to link up DoCoMo's i-mode Internet access cellphone service with Sony's Playstation vodeo game system to market overseas. Both the companies said that they signed separate memoranda of understanding with DoCoMo's six global alliance partners abroad to jointly develop and market new mobile communications service.  
 
Date:29/01/2001  
The Phone box in UK has become a casuallty of the country's increasing love affair with the mobile phone. British Telecom is to wind down production of phone boxes after revenue from the company's network of 141,000 boxes slumped by 37 per cent over the past two years.  
 
Date:26/01/2001  
Swedish telecoms equipment group Ericsson today said it was pulling out of making its own mobile phones and shedding thousands of jobs in the handset business after reporting a worse-than-expected fourth quarter loss of $155 million. Ericsson, the world's largest maker of mobile phones, also said it would only break even in the first quarter, cut its forecast for global mobile phone demand in 2001 and warned that its core mobile systems business faced increased spending on new 3G network technology.  
 
Date:25/01/2001  
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today ordered cellular operators to refund upto Rs 4,000 to subscribers who had used the services between August 1999 and this month. The operators have been asked to pass on the benefits arising due to migration from the fixed licence fee regime to revenue sharing and non-implementation of calling party pays regime.  
 
Date:24/01/2001  
The Telecom Commission today accepted the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI's) recent recommendations that pave the way for introduction of "limited mobility" in the basic telecom networks. All key recommendations of the TRAI on the entry of  additional basic telecom companies like the amount of entry fee and bank guarantee were being incorporated in the new policy.  
 
Date:24/01/2001  
Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) has shortlisted consultants - KPMG and Solomon Smith - for undertaking a financial viability study for bidding for the fourth cellular licence.  
 
Date:23/01/2001  
The merger of Birla AT&T and Tata Cellular has come closer to consummation, with creditors to both the companies giving their go-ahead in proceedings before the respective high courts. A final nod to the merger is now awaited from the high courts of Delhi and Gujarat.  
 
Date:23/01/2001  
The Telecom Commission will decide on the limited mobility issue for basic telephones tomorrow, following the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal's (TDSAT) rejection of a plea seeking a stay on the issue from the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) here in Delhi today.  
 
Date:22/01/2001  
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) is seriously thinking "of acquiring businesses of companies providing cellular services in order to expand its operations beyond Mumbai and Delhi.  
 
Date:22/01/2001  
The Delhi High Court has served notice to Department of Telecom (DoT), Secretary Shyamal Gosh seeking an explanation for allegedly causing whopping loss of Rs 450 crore worth revenue after permitting change in ownership of cellular company JT Mobile Ltd.  
 
Date:22/01/2001  
Nokia said on Monday it had won a $160 million deal with Chinese Yunnan Mobile Communications Company for the expansion of its GSM 900 and 1800 networks. Nokia said the deal would include mobile switching and base station equipments to help boost Yunnan MCC's capacity.  
 
Date:19/01/2001  
Airtel, the cellular service provider in Delhi  today announced a cut in its tariff. Under new tariff plan incoming calls will be charged at Rs. 1.60 per minute while outgoing calls will be charged at Rs. 2.85 per minute. The monthly rental will stand revised to Rs 400.  
 
Date:16/01/2001  
Hutichison Essar today announced a substantial cut in its tariff at Rs 2.80 a minute for outgoing calls and Rs 1.60 for incoming calls as compared to MTNL's rates of Rs 1.50 for incoming calls and Rs 2.70 for outgoing calls.  
 
Date:15/01/2001  
Spice Communications, cellular services provider in Punjab has dropped its tariff charges. With a drop of 33 per cent in incoming airtime rates, the mobile phone user have to pay Rs 1 per minute.   
 
Date:16/01/2001  
BPL has decided to reduce its $200 million enterprise  value bid for RPG Group's Chennai cellular circle. BPL, which has emerged as the highest bidder, now wants a lower valuation in the wake of the decision of the government to allow limited mobility as well as framing rules for licences for fourth operator in all circles.  
 
Date:15/01/2001  
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd has issued 22,000 applications on the first day of the booking of its cellular services, Dolphin in Delhi. Asked whether the corporation was equipped to meet the additional demand beyond the capacity of one lakh connections CMD of MTNL said "we are ready to add upto 3 lakh connections. One lakh capacity is ready with us, the moment we reach 60,000 connection we will start second phase of another one lakh capacity".  
 
Date:14/01/2001  
Cellular operators plan to move court against what they term as a move to create a low-end market of mobile phone users by permitting "fixed" phone service companies to use a technology known as wireless in local loop (WLL).   
 
Date:14/01/2001  
Hutchison Essar Telecom is aligning its Delhi cellular prices in line with those in Mumbai by the month end. The company will reduce the monthly rental by 15 to 20 per cent and the average call rate will also comes down to about Rs 3 per minute.  
 
Date:14/01/2001  
Telecom equipment and services provider Himachal Futuristic Communication Ltd (HFCL) has drawn up plans to manufacture the mobile handsets for the WLL CDMA based mobile services. In the mid ‘90s HFCL has announced plans to locally assemble GSM handsets.  
 
Date:12/01/2001  
Tata Teleservices, the basic services operator in the AP circle, is gearing up to take on both, sister concern Tata Cellular as also AirTel and DoT in the mobile telephony market. "We are only awaiting the government approval for TRAI’s recommendations on limited mobility on WLL we focus on mobile services", managing director Mr S Ramakrishnan said.   
 
Date:11/01/2001  
MTNL today announced sharply lower tariff of Rs 1.50 for incoming and Rs 2.70 for outgoing calls for its cellular service. Monthly rental for the upcoming mobile phone service will be Rs 400. MTNL will only sell SIM cards and not handsets. Of 1 lakh lines that will be available in Delhi and Mumbai – 33 per cent will be only for women.  
 
Date:10/01/2001  
MTNL is launching its GSM cellular phone service which is expected to be 25 per cent cheaper. In Delhi registration would begin by January 15 and service will be operational by January 31 while in Mumbai registration will start from February 15 and service will begin from February 28. MTNL will be charging an average airtime of Rs 3 per minute. Delhi service will also include Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad and  Mumbai service will extend to New Mumbai and Kalyan. MTNL would be using Lucent Technology for its networks. In addition to this GSM service MTNL would be launching mobile phone service based on WLL (CDMA) technology within next three months which will be much cheaper but wouldn't have roaming facilities.  
 
Date:10/01/2001  
DOT has decided to accept TRAI recommendations allowing basic telecom operators to offer short distance mobile telephone services based on wireless in local loop technology. This will bring down the cost of short distance mobile calling to one-twentieth of current cellular rates.  
 
Date:10/01/2001  
The COAI today officialy decided to put all future investments and roll-out plans on hold. The COAI is filing a formal complaint with the yet to be activated Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT). Simultaneously, cases may be filed at a High Court outside of Delhi for obtaining a stay on the policy. In the event stay is not granted, a case may be filed in the Supreme court.  
 
Date:09/01/2001   
Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has sharply criticised the TRAI's recommnedations for allowing limited mobility on basic telephones and has alleged that it would seriously affect the momentum of economic reforms in the country. COAI director said that this is a back door entry for fixed service providers into mobile services with no license entry fee and more advantageous operating conditions.  
 
Date:08/01/2001   
In a bid to address issues of a "level playing field", the TRAI today said revenue share for cellular operators should be reduced by 5 per cent to 12 per cent of annual revenues. TRAI also said cellular service providers may also be permitted to provide fixed phone based on their GSM network infrastructure.  
 
Date:08/01/2001   
TRAI today permitted wireless in local loop(WLL) based limited mobility, but restricted it to a local call area (short distance charging area - SDCA). TRAI also recommended that calls from WLL handset be charged at Rs. 1.20 for three minutes. However it did not fix the rentals for this service .  
 
Date:08/01/2001   
Both the basic and cellular service providers are not satisfied with today's recommendations of TRAI allowing basic service operators to offer Wireless in Local Loop (WLL) based limited mobile telephony. The basic telecom service operator say the mobility should not be restricted to local area. The cellular operators say that today's decision if accepted, would have adverse impact on their revenues and would discourage their investment in this sector  
 
Date:05/01/2001   
The public sector telecom giant Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) will commence its much awaited cellular service in Delhi from January 31 and in Mumbai from February 28.  
 
Date:05/01/2001      
The government today issued the bid guidelines for the fourth cellular operator. The licence fee for the fourth operator will have two components- first, a one-time entry fee which will be the same as highest bid, and second, the sharing of 17 per cent of the operators annual gross revenue  
 
Date:04/01/2001   
Government is understood to have decided to ask prospective licence seekers to be the fourth cellular player in a circle to cough up upto 50 per cent of bid amount to ensure that non-serious bidders were checked. The decision would be part of the guidelines to be announced on Friday.   
 
Date:04/01/2001   
Stakes held by DSS Enterprises Private Ltd, BellSouth International (Asia/Pacific) Inc, the US and Millicom International Cellular S.A, Luxembourg which totals to 59.5 per cent in Skycell Communications Ltd, a cellular provider in Chennai is up for sale.  
 
Date:03/01/2001   
The two top telecos – BPL and Hutchison which are in the race for RPG Cellular’s 49 per cent stake in Chennai, have said they do not have differences of opinion on management related issues as claimed by RPG Group officials. RPG officials are reported to have expressed concern over the fate of the deal owing to differences over the management control between the negotiating parties  
 
Date:02/01/2001   
France Telecom said today it was buying a further 25.15 per cent in Egyptian mobile phone holding company Mobinil from Motorola Inc for $252 million, raising its stake to 71.25 per cent.  
 
Date:02/01/2001   
The Indian cellular industry added another 1.5 lakh subscribers in November to take the total mobile subscribers in the country to 2.93 million. Hutchison remains ahead of the pack with 5.78 lakh subscribers, with BPL close behind with 5.74 lakh subscribers. The Bharti Group has a total subscriber base of 4.42 lakh in the end November as against 4.29 lakh in October.  
 
Date:01/01/2001   
The full telecom commission has approved the department of telecom (DoT) proposal to reduce the spectrum fee for the cellular operators by up to 50 per cent. Now, the spectrum fee for 4.4MHz+4.4Hz of frequency would be 2 per cent of the gross revenue of the operators.  
 
 
Cellular News: Oct. - Dec. 2000 
Cellular News: July - Sept. 2000 
Cellular News: April - June 2000
 
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