MTNL and C&W expand in India

6 Aug 2004

The state-owned Indian telco MTNL has begun the expansion of its GSM and CDMA cellular networks in Delhi and Mumbai, with the aim of adding capacity for an additional 400,000 customers on each network. Contracts for the expansion were awarded several months ago: Motorola has been chosen to expand the GSM system, which has capacity for around 450,000 users at present, while the Indian manufacturer HFCL will handle the CDMA rollout. The CDMA network currently has capacity for 300,000 customers.

MTNL, which provides cellular and local telephony services in Delhi and Mumbai as well as national long-distance services, had around 360,000 cellular subscribers at the end of March 2004. The company recently announced that it was planning to add capacity for a further two million lines on its GSM networks next year; a tender is expected shortly.

Meanwhile, the UK-based business services operator Cable & Wireless has revealed plans to invest USD10 million on its operations in India over the next 18 months. Half of the investment will be used to set up nodes and increase bandwidth, while the remainder will be spent on additional staff and infrastructure. C&W has invested around USD5 million on its Indian business since it launched there in 1995 and now serves 130 corporate customers.