New Delhi: The government is seriously looking at a revival plan for state-owned MTNL, and various steps have been taken to improve the telecom operator’s customer base, union minister Manoj Sinha said on Wednesday.
Replying to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha, he said the government is also considering equipping MTNL and BSNL to start providing 4G services. MTNL has taken various steps to improve its network capabilities, quality of services and to increase the market share.
These include expansion of 3G network and redeployment of digital subscriber line asynchronous mode (DSLAM) mode of existing broadband network. During question hour, Sinha said the government is seriously looking at revival plan for MTNL.
Mentioning about measures taken, the minister of state for communications said the pension liability of MTNL staff who were absorbed from the department of telecommunications has been taken over by the government. “Financial support of Rs 492.26 crore has been given to MTNL on account of liability arising from levy of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT),” he said.
With respect to refund of surrendered broadband wireless access (BWA) in two service areas held by MTNL, Sinha said Rs4,533.97 crore has been refunded to the telecom operator through bonds. Noting that BSNL’s market share in Kerala is good, Sinha said that once it starts 4G services, these would be first launched in the state.
In the last one year, there has been a substantial improvement in the call drop situation, the minister said. Responding to a query, he said there is no harmful effect on health of people from radiation coming from mobile towers and added that efforts are being made to create awareness about it.