Millennium Post

As pvt telcos lose subscribers,BSNL & MTNL get new ones

Defying the trend wherein telecom industry lost subscribers in the October-December quarter, state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL added about three lakh users during the three months.

BSNL added 2.9 lakh new users, highest during the quarter, while MTNL added 10,000 subscribers, sectoral regulator Trai said in its performance indicator report.

Led by the net additions, BSNL has also increased its market share to 11.56 per cent in December 2012 from 10.99 per cent in September 2012. Barring Quadrant (HFCL), which added 90,000 users, all the other private operators together lost around 42 million subscribers during the three months.

'In terms of net additions during the quarter, BSNL (0.29 million) has added the highest number of subscribers, followed by Quadrant (0.09 million) and MTNL (0.01 million).

All other service providers recorded negative growth during the quarter,' Trai said.

Reliance Communications lost the maximum of 16.32 million users followed by Tata Teleservices (8.80 million), Vodafone (5.19), market leader Bharti Airtel (4.02 million), Aircel (3.26 million), Sistema Shyam Teleservices (1.71 million) and Idea Cellular (1.52 million) during the reported period, Trai said. BSNL attributed the net additions as a result of better quality of service and good coverage.

'We are providing better quality of service by improving the operations and maintenance of network. Also we have deployed more equipment in improving the coverage and capacity under phase 7 of GSM project,' BSNL CMD R K Upadhyay said.

Besides, the public sector company has strengthened the sales and marketing force while increasing the number of franchisees, he said.

BSNL franchisees have been increased to 2,135 as on March 31, 2013 from 1,599 in 2009. In the same way, retailers have been increased to 5.02 lakh. The company now has 66,828 direct selling agents.


New Delhi: The Finnish government is seeking a negotiated settlement to the Rs. 2,000-crore tax dispute between the country's telecom company Nokia and the Indian tax authorities.

'The Government of Finland has filed an application with the Indian government to consider and settle the Rs. 2,000 crore Nokia tax case under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP)... We will take decision soon,' a senior Finance Ministry official said.

The application for negotiated settlement of the tax dispute was filed under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Finland, the official said. The Mutual Agreement Procedure, which is a part of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, provides for alternative mechanism for resolution of  dispute.

The government, however, is not bound to accept the request under the MAP and it had earlier rejected a similar request in case of Vodafone which is facing a tax dispute.
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