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BSNL to launch cellular services in 60 TN towns

Our Correspondent

MADURAI, Sept. 18

THE BSNL cellular service coverage is to be extended to 60 towns in the State on October 2, according to Tamil Nadu Chief General Manager, Mr K. Vasudevan.

According to Mr Vasudevan only pre-paid service will be made available initially and the post-paid would be launched subsequently.

Speaking to reporters here after inaugurating the Internet telephony in Madurai, he said the pilot project of BSNL mobile service (both pre-paid and post-paid) was already functional in three towns of Madurai, Coimbatore and Tirupur.

Originally, BSNL wanted to launch the cellular service in 80 towns under the main project. The testing of two switching stations in Tiruchi and Salem are under way. Five towns — Theni, Dindigul, Cumbum, Palani and Kodaikannal — in the Madurai Telecom District will be covered from October 2, while around 500 towns in the country are likely to be brought under the mobile coverage.

He hoped the tariff of mobile services would come down once the all-India launch was done.

The Internet telephone service could be used with pre-paid cards through BSNL's ISP, Sancharnet. People can make calls through the personal computer (with Internet connection) to landlines and mobile phones in select countries.

Even though the quality of voice through Internet telephony will not match with that of conventional ISD lines, the tariff of the former is cheaper. People can make calls to Singapore, UK, US, Canada and Germany at a cost of Rs 4.5 per minute.

The pre-paid cards come in the denomination of Rs 210, Rs 525 and Rs 1050.

More details of the service could be availed through the website `http://webfone.sancharnet.in' or over phone (523838, 539030 and 1957). The prepaid cards are available in customer service centres. The services will be extended to the customer service centres, Internet dhabas and PCOs.

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