India’s Ministry for Communications and Information Technology has decided to extend its support the ailing MTNL, the public sector telecom service provider of Mumbai and New Delhi. The state of affairs in MTNL went wrong ever since it started reporting loss continuously for the past many years and the Central Government announced it’s policy to close down all loss making public sector companies.
Reports suggest that the Government will soon clear MTNL’s long pending dues borne out of surrendering valuable 4G or broadband wireless access.
Though the public sector telecommunication service providers such as BSNL and MTNL own the largest network and subscriber base in the country, both of them have been reporting losses. Both BSNL and MTNL are known for their inefficiency to tap the potential. The corrupt officials in public sector divisions are behind the chronic ailments of MTNL and BSNL.
The services offered by MTNL and BSNL also invite complaints from their subscribers. BSNL has one of the extensive fiber optic networks in India, but complaints such as dropping of calls, one way speech, poor network and poor broadband services etc are frequent.
MTNL and BSNL together paid around 1.8 billion US dollars for acquiring the broadband wireless spectrum in 2010, which depleted much of their resources. Besides, despite the previous regime of clearing pension liabilities, those dues have not been paid yet. Even in the face of losses, the company has been doing well in the broadband sector, but lack of money is affecting improvement in services. With the surrender of spectrum early this year, 1.07 billion dollars and 720 million dollars are to be paid to BSNL and MTNL, respectively. The PSUs had to pay much higher rates for the spectrum.
Government’s decision to support the ailing MTNL is a good news for its employees. MTNL operates in India’s two big cities Mumbai and New Delhi.