BSNL unions protest network sharing with private players

September 16th, 2008 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) State-owned telecom major Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s employees’ union Tuesday expressed displeasure over the company’s decision to share its network with private operators.”The decision is unwarranted and against the interests of both the government and BSNL. At the moment, as BSNL’s network is over saturated, allowing others will further aggravate the situation by worsening the quality of service,” BSNL Employees Union general secretary V.A.N. Namboodri said in a statement.

Certain private companies are facing formidable challenges for entering into the GSM arena in terms of setting up their infrastructure, which is quite time consuming. BSNL’s decision will helping these companies but will worsen BSNL’s service, he added.

The company Monday, in an internal circular, said it would sign the first roaming agreement with new entrant Swan Telecom.

The circular added that BSNL would revise after six months the initial charge of 52 paise a minute for every outgoing call, and the additional cost of upgrading equipment to provide roaming facilities will be borne by the private operators.

Some GSM mobile operators like Airtel and Vodafone are not even considering the option of allowing other service providers to roam on their network since they are fully conscious of the fatal consequences of such a move, Namboodri pointed out.

“BSNL should not be made a scapegoat and the joint forum of BSNL associations, unions of executives and non-executives strongly protests this irrational and unwarranted move of the management and demands it to drop further proceedings in the matter,” he added.

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