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MTNL to invest Rs 400 cr to increase 3G speed 6-fold

Under the project, company has plans to install about 1,500 mobile towers for 2G services, and about 2,000 sites for 3G coverage

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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State-owned telecom company plans to invest about Rs 400 crore to increase mobile speed by up to six times, and enhance the coverage of network.

"We have floated tender for enhancing and coverage in National Capital Region. Under this project, we are working to enhance maximum speed of by six times. The total project is estimated to cost us Rs 400 crore," Chairman and Managing Director A K Garg told PTI.

At present, the maximum speed of data download on MTNL's 3G networks based on HSDPA technology is about 3.6 megabit per second (mbps). It plans to increase that to 21.1 Mbps by using HSPA+ technology.

At the current speed a user is able to download a 600 MB file, equivalent to a Bollywood movie, in around 24 minutes. At 21 mbps, the same file can be downloaded in 4 minutes.

However, the downloads depend on a lot of other factors such as the server location, number of subscribers using network at a time and throughput capability of the website.

Under the project, has plans to install about 1,500 base stations (mobile towers) for services, and about 2,000 sites for 3G coverage.

"We will have 750 BTS (mobile tower) each in Delhi and Mumbai for 2G coverage and 1,000 nodes for 3G coverage. The only issue that we are facing is availability of locations for installing BTS. We are looking for interest from people who want to get BTSs installed at their premise," Garg said.

Nokia Solutions and Networks, Alcatel Lucent, Huawei and are in race for the project, he said, adding that their bids are undergoing technical evaluations and the vendor for the project will be finalised by end of this month.

MTNL has over 42 lakh mobile subscribers and all the connections are 3G enabled.

First Published: Sun, October 13 2013. 15:58 IST