NEW DELHI, March 4, 2002: Ms. Sheila Dikshit, Hon. Chief Minister of Delhi, today launched Delhi’s first private telephone service - Touchtel – by making inaugural calls to Mr. David Lim, Minister for Information, Communication & Arts and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Republic of Singapore, Mr. Vijay Kapoor, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Mr. Arun Jaitly, Union Minister for Law, respectively. Marking a milestone in the State capital’s historic journey, the new service from Bharti was launched in the presence of Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Group Managing Director, Bharti, Mr. Lim Toon, Chief Operating Officer, SingTel and other senior industry and Bharti officials.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Group Managing Director, Bharti said, “Delhi enjoys a special pride of place in our hearts at Bharti. Our association dates back to when we launched AirTel in 1995, which has since then become a true benchmark in mobile services. I am proud to bring to Delhi, a world-class telephone service experience that will redefine the way Delhi communicates. Today we present a high quality communication infrastructure in Delhi at par with the best in the world.”
Touchtel – To Usher an era of choice, A new beginning
For the very first time since the setting up of the first manual trunk exchange in 1911 in Delhi, the people of Delhi have a choice. Delhi’s first private fixed line telephone service heralds not just an era of choice for the customer, but an opportunity to enjoy a new service experience.
From consumer friendly tariff plans, a state-of-the art 24 x 7 customer care call centre to a number of innovative Voice Plus Services, Touchtel will offer customers in Delhi a gamut of services on a superior technology platform.
Customers can for the first time experience a truly international service experience. Beginning March 4, 2002, Touchtel customers will have a host of features on their fixed line telephones including free Voice Mail, Fast Internet Connectivity, Calling Line Identification, Multiple Number Line - which will give the consumer an added advantage of having two numbers on one connection. In addition, Touchtel will offer an Internet connection with no access charges for 90 days from the date of activation and will soon introduce a host of value added services in a phased manner.
Rapid infrastructure build-up – within four months of signing the license
Bharti has launched its telephone services, Touchtel, within a short span of approx. 4 months from the grant of license for the Delhi circle.
In the first phase, Touchtel will be available to consumers in various parts of South and Central Delhi. Touchtel has set up a network comprising one Main Switching Unit (MSU), 6 Remote Switching Unit (RSU), 25 Digital Loop Carrier (DLC) and more than 300 Kms of Optical Fibre and plans to lay 1,000 Kms of copper. The OFC network leads to higher performance and reliability with a ring topology and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH). This state-of-the art network ensures complete redundancy as well as future proofing to cater to increased demand.
TECHNOLOGY FROM WORLD LEADERS
The Company has partnered with telecom majors like Siemens, Nortel, Lucent and Duraline for its network. While Siemens has provided the digital switching system (Siemens EWSD) with CCS-7, a signaling protocol for faster connectivity, the billing software (Kenan Arbor) has been sourced from Lucent. The Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) equipment is sourced from Nortel.
Touchtel to provide Integrated Telecom solutions to the Business Users
Building on the state-of-the-art technology deployed by its network, Touchtel marks a new beginning in the delivery of integrated end-to-end communication solutions for the business segment. It will offer a reliable, high-speed communication network capable of handling voice, data and video.
Going beyond mere voice based telephone services, Touchtel’s specially designed bouquet of services for businesses includes high capacities and faster connectivity on leased lines, private leased circuits, dedicated ISDN services, VPN, Centrex services, Internet and web based value added services, and convenience enhancing services like video conferencing. The Centrex itself functions as a PBX, providing all the features of any advanced EPABX. This means that the customers can enjoy all features and benefits of a PBX and more, without buying it.
Touchtel also plans to offer in the near future, a comprehensive range of IN services like Number Translation Services (Freephone, Premium Rate, Universal Access Number, Televoting), Alternate Billing and Charging (Prepaid Calling Cards and Virtual Calling Cards), Personal Services (Personal Number Service and Friends & Family) and Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Touchtel – To redefine customer care … ring in a world of joy
Touchtel’s telephone service will focus on customer convenience and offer a host of advantages to its customers. Touchtel will offer telephone connections on demand, convenient billing and a range of value added services, high-speed data transmission facilities and 24-hour customer care. Payments of Touchtel bills will also be accepted at multiple collection points centrally located in the city.
Touchtel Exclusive Showrooms – An international experience
For the first time, exclusive showrooms manned by friendly personnel - detailing the entire bouquet of services from Touchtel will be set up in various parts of the city. The Touchtel exclusive showroom will provide a one-stop shop to customers for bookings, registration, customer bill payment, purchase of instruments, customer queries…etc. The showroom will serve as a single window for all value added services and customer care requirements thereby reducing the amount of time that a customer would normally spend in such situations.
About Bharti Tele-Ventures Limited
Bharti Tele-Ventures, a company promoted by Bharti Telecom, is India’s leading private sector provider of telecommunications services based on an aggregate of approximately 1,457,430 customers including of Internet and National Long Distance as of January 31, 2002, consisting of approximately 1,184,544 cellular customers. Cellular services currently constitute the largest portion of its business in terms of total revenues. The company also provides fixed-line, VSAT, Internet and network solutions and has also commenced offering national long distance services by offering data transmission services and voice transmission services for cellular to cellular calls. The Company intends to offer voice transmission services for fixed-line subscribers shortly. Bharti Tele-Ventures intends to widen its range of telecommunications services to provide international bandwidth access and international voice services. The company seeks to capitalise on the growth opportunities that it believes are available in the Indian telecommunications market and consolidate its position to be an integrated telecommunications services provider in key markets in India, with a focus on providing cellular services.
Bharti Tele-Ventures is a holding company and its operations are segmented into four divisions, operated by wholly owned subsidiaries: Cellular - Bharti Cellular, Access - Bharti Telenet, Long Distance - Bharti Telesonic, Broadband Solutions -Bharti Broadband Networks.
Bharti Tele-Ventures presently offers cellular services in seven of the 22 circles in India and intends to provide cellular services in eight additional circles, for which the Company has entered into licenses with the DoT. As of Jan 31, 2002, approximately 93% of India’s total number of cellular subscribers resided in their existing and proposed cellular circles, according to COAI reports.
Bharti Tele-Ventures was the first private sector operator to provide fixed-line services in India. It currently provides fixed-line services in the Madhya Pradesh circle, and Haryana circle and intends to provide fixed-line services in three additional circles of Delhi, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, for which they have entered into licenses with DoT.
Bharti Tele-ventures has always believed in creating strong partnerships with its joint venture partners. Today SingTel and Warburg Pincus are it’s leading partners. The other partners include leading international financial investors such as International Finance Corporation, Asian Infrastructure Fund Group and New York Life Insurance.