MTNL not seeking concessions on 3G price: Kuldip Singh

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) chairman and managing director Kuldip Singh Thursday said the state-run telecom operator has not sought any concessions from the government on the auction price for third generation (3G) spectrum.

‘We are not seeking any concessions. We are still discussing things with the board and the government,’ Singh told IANS.

MTNL has already been allotted 3G spectrum but it has to match the auction price of Rs.6,564 crore for its two circles of Delhi and Mumbai.

Singh also said that no decision had been taken on the proposed MTNL-BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd) merger. With both players losing market share to private players, there is pressure on the two to improve profitability.

The two companies have been exploring the possibility of a merger for the last two years, but differences related to management, employee compensation and holding structure have put the deal on the backburner.

‘The government will decide on this. There is no decision as of now,’ said Singh.

MTNL is also hoping that revenues from 3G services, broadband Internet and its enterprise business will help the company recoup the Rs.2,500 crore loss posted in the previous financial year.

‘There was lot of provisioning last year and that’s why we incurred losses. This year we are looking at additional sources of revenue from enterprise business, mobile applications, and broadband,’ Singh told IANS.

‘There is so much of pressure on revenues because of falling tariffs that we want to increase our customer base in 3G and wireline broadband and take it to 2 million subscribers this year.’

Currently the company has about 375,000 customers using its 3G services and 800,000 subscribers for broadband wireline.

(Sakshi Gulati can be reached at sakshi.gulati@ians.in and biz@ians.in)

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