Monday, June 8, 2009

CDMA-GSM Service in BSNL-some imp. points-inf. by Ashok Hindocha(M-9426201999)
Meeting with Director(Consumer mobility)/BSNL board on issues of growth of BSNL in strategic and upcoming areas of new business on 6th June, 09.
GS along with AGSs Com. Khan & Sebstian met Director (Consumer Mobility)/BSNL board, Shri R.K.Agarwal, regarding development of CDMA & GSM services in BSNL. In the meeting following issues were discussed.
1. At the outset we drew the attention of Director towards our letter dated 14th May 2009 on upgrading and augmenting the CDMA services. He appreciated our views on the subject and elaborately mentioned about the future plans of BSNL in this direction. He was of the opinion that BSNL is providing Broadband services through Landline, 3G, Wimax and EVDO services. We also emphasized on the fact that since the reach of EVDO services is more, we should go in for expansion of these services on priority. Director was of the opinion that in the 3G segment through HSPA services the speed may reach up to 14.6 MBPS. We also informed him that there is need for creation of more segments for our different services since they all have different market flavour. The issue of national roaming on CDMA services was discussed, as the voice call is possible in between the BSCs. It was informed by the Director that since the vendor M/s ITI/ZTE is now asking for service charges for providing these services, BSNL is not agreeing to the same as it is not provided in the tender conditions. He was optimistic that the issue of payment of additional service charges to the vendor is on the final verge of settlement, the issue of extending national roaming on CDMA services would be sorted out soon.
2. Around 130 cities will be covered with EVDO services soon. There is a great demand of our EVDO services. The 1X BTSs numbering around 2000 will soon be upgraded to provide EVDO services. The shortage of EVDO cards was also highlighted and it was informed that very soon the problem of shortage of EVDO cards is being sorted out..
3. Shortage of FWTs and poor quality of batteries specifically in Circles like UP (W), Kerala, TN was highlighted. We were informed that very soon the tender for around 15 lakh FWTs with internal batteries is going to be finalized. Diversion of poor quality of FWTs from HP to UP(W) was also highlighted.
4. Recently around 14 lakhs of RUIM services have been launched in BSNL. We were informed that BSNL will be providing only the SIM and the handset would have to be purchased the market like GSM handset. We also reiterated the fact that now we should not go for the purchase of handsets as this has already proved to be weak point in marketing our services.
5. We also expressed our anxiety in the delay in launching Wi-max services since we have already the spectrum. It was informed that these services will to be launched in rural areas since BSNL has already got subsidy from USO fund for providing wimax services. Further, we informed Director that BSNL should insist for subsidy from USO fund for providing BB services irrespective of technology. He appreciated our point of view and assured us that BSNL will ask for USO subsidy for providing EVDO services in rural Areas. Around 8000 BTSs will be installed for the purpose and to start the services Kerala and Punjab have been initially chosen. Besides this, franchisee model is also under serious consideration and discussion.
1. Initially w.r.t GSM services, GS drew the attention of the Director about the paucity of the equipment in western zone and the complete failure and inability of ITI to provide GSM equipment to potential Circles like MH, GU and MP. The growth in these highly potential circles is primarily retarded because of total failure of ITI to provide GSM equipment in these potential Circles. Director informed us that it is true that whole of the western zone has been suffering due to ITIs lack of capability and expertise in providing modern equipment on such a large scale. Because of this reason, BSNL is now in direct touch with Alcatel Lucent to supply the equipment in western zone and is hopeful of improvement in the situation. The IN services under installation at Pune for around 3 million lines(total 7.5 million) is ready, Director informed.

2. The quality of Battery and power plant supplied by Nortel was extremely poor in southern zone, we informed Director. Besides, the attitude and cooperation of Nortel was extremely lacking. Director assured us that he would try to sort out the problems being created by Nortel in Southern zone and also informed that there was some design problem in Excel type PPs and the same has been corrected.

3. The delay in charging through C-ToP ups was also highlighted. It was informed that this was due to congestion in OTA(Over the air) and this issue is being sorted out.

4. In Chennai nearly 200 sites are working on Copper pair with Copper Modem. These sites very often fluctuate and are not stable always leading to failures. These have to be phased out early and to be replaced by OFC wherever possible. Director informed that it was the responsibility of CGMs and they should ensure that these stop gap arrangements are replaced permanently by OFCs.

5. Cost for foundation of towers supplied by M/s Sharda is more as compared to towers supplied by Telecom Factories i.e Sharda Rs. 9.725 lakhs and TF- Rs. 4.597 lakhs. Director informed us that there is some difference in design specification between towers funded by USO and those exclusively funded by BSNL. However, he felt even then the margin in the costs is quite huge and assured to investigate the issue.

6. The main reason for the delay in sites for phase V.1 project was due to acquisition of the sites and the three phase electricity connection. Director informed us that there were inherent problems in securing three phase connections from electricity boards. However, best efforts were being made to overcome the problem, particularly in Circles like Orissa. He assured us that BSNL is making best efforts to get over the terrible hassles they are facing from various electricity boards in this regard.

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