MTNL, BSNL on track for timely 3G rollout

MTNL, BSNL on track for timely 3G rollout

New Delhi: If the liquidity squeeze is pinching new private telecom players as they compete for 3G spectrum, a weakening rupee could add to their woes. State owned telecom player Mahanagar Telecommunications Nigam Limited, MTNL, which will be the first to roll out 3G services in the country, says its suppliers are bearing the brunt of a depreciating rupee. R.S.P. Sinha, CMD, MTNL said, “Because of devaluation of the rupee there is some crisis, where the suppliers are facing the heat. Because the orders and the placements were based on the 40 rupees price of dollar, they are facing some problems."

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2961f03c-a04b-11dd-8732-000b5dabf613.flvBut Sinha remains confident that MTNL will be able to roll out services on time.

That will please union minister for telecommunications, A. Raja who wants things to happen without any delay and very much within his tenure. Raja emphasised, “In spite of the financial crisis prevailing over the globe, we must ensure that early rollout must start in December by MTNL and January by BSNL."

Aside from MTNL and BSNL, for other private players the 3G auction process had to be completed by 31 December. But the credit crisis, led to bankers and operators asking for more time as raising money would have been difficult. Subsequently the auction process was delayed till 15 January.