Govt rejects BSNL’s plea to enter Mumbai, Delhi

Govt rejects BSNL’s plea to enter Mumbai, Delhi


New Delhi: The government has turned down state-run telecom company BSNL’s proposal to offer services in Mumbai and Delhi metros, saying guidelines do not permit it.

The government has told the country’s largest telecom company BSNL, as per existing guidelines for the issue of unified access services licence, BSNL can’t be granted the licence for Mumbai and Delhi, Minister of State for Telecom and IT Shakeel Ahmad said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

MTNL operates in these two metros. BSNL had applied for grant UASL licence for operating fixed and mobilem service in Delhi and Mumbai.

BSNL still rules the roost when it comes to marketshare in the overall telecom services market with a 28.06%, followed by Bharti Airtel at 20.06% and Reliance at 14.43%. Vodafone Essar, which has only cellular mobile services, has 13.94% market share as on July 2007. Tatas have 8.03% marketshare and Idea Cellular, an AV Birla group company, has 7.31%, he said.

Replying to a query, the Minister said MTNL’s total outstanding arrears in Delhi and Mumbai has been reduced by 5.7% over the past year to 30 June. For Delhi, dues from customers were Rs786 crore, for Mumbai they were Rs443 crore.

MTNL, a navratna company, has also proposed to build private building construction companies at its vacant land in Delhi and Noida for which it has moved into a joint development partnership with IDEB on a build, operate and transfer basis for a plot in Noida. The time limit for completion of the plot is December 2008 and the expected expenditure and profit is yet to be firmed up, Ahmad said.