MTNL Mumbai 3G service Jadoo will be operational in April. 3G services will be available to MTNL subscribers who are using Dolphin and Trump services. Dolphin is MTNL’s post-paid (billing) cellular service, while Trump is its pre-paid service. MTNL also has a student scheme called MTNL Trump Vidyarthi. MTNL has already launched 3G telecom services in New Delhi. In other parts of the country, 3G has made it headway thanks to BSNL.
Private telecom operators currently providing 2G telecom services in Mumbai include Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone-Essar, Idea Cellular, Tata Indicom and BPL Mobile. For these mobile service providers, 3G spectrum is still a long way off.
Both MTNL and BSNL are government-owned telecom entities. MTNL operates telecom services in New Delhi and Mumbai, while BSNL operates in all other parts of India. Both telecom providers operate mobile and landline telecom services, besides many data services.
MTNL has already set up 720 base transceiver stations (BTS) to rollout 3G Jadoo rollout in the Mumbai circle. MTNL had earlier planned to launch 3G in Mumbai by February, but it was later postponed to April.
BSNL and MTNL have been forerunners in launching 3G in India. Curiously, this is not because of their technological edge. India, which is still largely a 2G country, is still mired in a dispute over auctioning 3G spectrum. The 3G spectrum auction has not been done so far; however, government being the final authority in dispensing 3G spectrum, it has given the spectrum and licence to its own telecom entities, with the caveat that when the spectrum is auctioned, they will have to pay the required fee. However, early launch of 3G gives these two companies an edge in growing subscriber base.
In December 2008, MTNL launched its 3G service Jadoo in New Delhi. Coverage was initially available at Connaught Place, Sanchar Bhawan, Rajaji Marg, India Gate, Pragati Maidan, Delhi Gate and Minto Road. In New Delhi, MTNL’s 3G charges are Rs 500 plus taxes for activation, and Rs 599 a month as rental. To make local phone calls within the MTNL network would cost 60 paise, while charges for 3G local phone calls to other networks will be Rs 1. MTNL Jadoo video 3G calls cost Rs 1.80 within the same network, while local video calls to other networks will be Rs 3. STD video calls will cost Rs 3.75 per minute, while ISD video 3G calls will be charged Rs 10 a minute. Mumbai 3G charges are not released yet.
3G is an advanced wireless telecom standard, used across most of the developed world. The high-speed data transfer enables live TV, fast internet connectivity & file downloads, and high-quality voice calls. Most of the new advanced mobile phones available in India support 3G, though 3G is mostly in its infancy in India. Even after 3G becomes commonplace, it will take time for the services and applications for a 3G environment to take off in India. Till then, telecom operators in Mumbai, Delhi and other metros which are struggling with a shortage of sufficient 2G spectrum to service their existing clientele are expected to use the additional 3G spectrum to improve their voice services rather than plunging headlong into 3G. This will definitely lead to improved voice quality, fewer call drops, and less network congestion, but it will still not be 3G services yet.
Watch this space for MTNL Mumbai 3G Jadoo launch, charges, availability, coverage, features and more!