When state-owned telecom company Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) launched its 3G Jadoo services, little did it realise that marketing a new technology is integral to the process of getting it out there.
Now that good sense has dawned upon the company, it has invited bids from international firms to run its 3G services, since it has got only 1000 users in the six months that it has been operational in Delhi. The less said about the recent launch in Mumbai, the better…
“This is a marketing failure by MTNL. PSU companies are always good at developing infrastructure but they lag behind when it comes to marketing and new technologies,” said BK Syngal, senior principal, Dua Consulting, and former chairman of VSNL.
MTNL obviously wants someone who knows what they are doing, as the conditional requirements for the sought partner state that the firm should have prior experience of offering 3G services to a minimum of 10 lakh customers across two countries, and should have revenues above Rs 150 crore each for the past two years.
Successful bidders will not have to spend a rupee to use MTNL’s infrastructure, but there are some stiff targets to meet: In the first year, the new company will have to ensure revenue of Rs 30 crore; Rs 120 crore in the second year and Rs 240 crore in the third year. Not meeting these targets includes a penalty too!
And during all this time, the bidder is restricted from applying for a telecom license in either Mumbai or Delhi.
We just hope that the new firm coming in will tell MTNL to lift the ridiculous Fair Usage Policy and reduce the preposterous data tariff rates.