Indian mobile network operator Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), which offers services under the MTS India banner, is planning to integrate is voice and internet services in a bid to improve average revenue per user (ARPU), the Economic Times reports. To that end, the cellco, which utilises CDMA-based technology in eight circles as at November 2009, has entered into long-term agreements with RailTel, Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Tata Teleservices (TTSL) to lease internet bandwidth. SSTL also intends to introduce a range of high-end mobile handsets and smartphones. ‘ARPU of data services is at least three to four times more than that of voice… We had to upgrade our mobile base stations or BTS to enable such high speed internet access. The CDMA technology allows [us] to set up two separate channels for voice and data services, thereby allowing such high speed internet,’ said SSTL chief sales officer Atul Joshi of the developments.
Having announced back in September 2009 that it was planning to launch high speed wireless internet services offering speeds of up to 3.1Mbps, SSTL has revealed that it has now done so. At launch the cities where the new data service, known as MBlaze, will be offered include Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta as well as smaller cities such as: Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan; Durgapur and Siliguri in West Bengal; Patna in Bihar; Gangtok in Sikkim; Trichy in Tamil Nadu; Thiruvanathapuram in Kerala; and Bengaluru and Belgaum in Karnataka. In addition, SSTL has said it expects to launch both its mobile CDMA-based voice services and MBlaze in the Mumbai circle by the end of December 2009. It hopes to have 26 cities able to receive the wireless broadband service by the end of the first quarter of 2010.