India’s No. 4 mobile operator, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), said on Friday it had launched third-generation (3G) services in 11 cities and planned to expand services to other areas in the country.
BSNL said in a statement it had invested 27 billion rupees ($530 million) on rolling out 3G infrastructure and would cover all district headquarters and important commercial towns.
India will hold an auction of 3G spectrum later this year, but state-run firms have already been given one slot in each service area, and will have to match the highest bid from private operators. Third-generation services give users a chance to enjoy fast Internet access, games and a host of multimedia content from maps to music on their cellphones. BSNL provides telecoms services across the country except in the major cities of New Delhi and Mumbai, which are covered by another state-run firm, MTNL.