MTML SOFT-LAUNCHES MOBILE NETWORK AND LONG-DISTANCE SERVICES
Mahanagar Telephone (Mauritius) (MTML), a wholly owned subsidiary of Indian telecoms group MTNL, has successfully soft-launched a mobile network and international long-distance services in Mauritius, with its parent saying the unit is already generating INR4 million (USD89,000) a month from its ILD operations. The newcomer plans to launch commercial fixed line and cellular (pre-paid and contract) services from March 2006, but says its initial soft launch has already garnered a lot of interest, particularly for its ILD offering which is provided via an agreement with Tatas-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL).
MTML was licensed in January 2005 and soon after announced plans to launch a CDMA-based nationwide network using dual-mode GSM/CDMA handsets in order to roam over its rivals' GSM infrastructure. It aims for between 50,000 and 100,000 subscribers by 2008 and is rolling out a network with 55 base stations in two phases; work on stage one (28 base stations) is already well under way. Its parent says it is investing USD25 million to get its fixed and mobile operations off the ground.