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Bharti to invest Rs 150 cr in UP

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Mr Rajan Bharti Mittal, Joint Managing Director, Bharti Tele-Ventures, at the launch of the second phase of expansion of its broadband and telephone services operations during a press conference in Noida on Wednesday. - Kamal Narang

New Delhi , Jan. 19

BHARTI Tele-Ventures on Wednesday announced an investment of Rs 150 crore in Uttar Pradesh for expanding its broadband and fixed line services. The company said that it would extend the services to Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Kerala.

In Uttar Pradesh, the broadband services under the Airtel brand will be rolled out to 15 towns by March 2006. "We are looking at half-a-million broadband customers by the end of next fiscal. Bharti will invest Rs 150 crore in Uttar Pradesh in commissioning the broadband and fixed line network," the Bharti Tele-Ventures Joint Managing Director, Mr Rajan Mittal, told newspersons after launching the services in Noida.

The company launched 12 tariff packages ranging from Rs 245 per month to Rs 5,495 per month. Bharti currently offers broadband services in six States, including Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, which account for 15 per cent of the company's revenue.

"After the new rollouts, we see 16 to 18 per cent of the revenues coming from this segment in the next few years," Mr Mittal said. The rollout in Noida will be followed by Ghaziabad, Meerut, Agra and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.

Guarantee scheme

The offer comes with a service guarantee scheme, which ensures the repair of dead phones within eight working hours of receiving a complaint and error-free billing. In the event of any failure, the company will give a long distance pre-paid calling card worth Rs 100 to itscustomer.

On the competition with BSNL and MTNL, which launched broadband services from January 15 this year, Mr Mittal said, "We are competing against them even in the mobile segment. We believe that Airtel will continue to be competitive, be it voice or broadband. We can't be completely out-priced and can't match penny-to-penny."

For the fixed line telephone service, the company is offering seven tariff plans across various customer segments. Voice tariff plan Talk 499 offers 450 free pulses and a rate of Rs 1.10 per pulse beyond that. Talk 999 offers 1,000 free pulses and Re 1 per pulse beyond that. The pulse is 180 seconds for fixed-to-fixed calls and 45 seconds for fixed-to-mobile calls.

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