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|March 31, 1998||
FM paging come a cropper
When All India Radio offered FM paging licences, it thought it held all the aces -- it was cheaper with no problems about bandwidth. But still, the service, which was started along with the telecommunication revolution that also led to the growth of cellular services, has yet to take off. Now, customers are actually going elsewhere.
Offered in over 15 cities, slowly most operators closed shop and now there are only a few companies actively providing the service. Radiant, an
Not that the company would admit it. They claim they are doing quite well, thank you, and that they actually plan to expand sometime later.
Paging company sources put the slowdown in the FM zone to poor marketing, asking how many in the public had actually heard of FM paging. They said licences had also been given to small firms that could not compete with other operators, squeezing them out before they could gain a foothold.
But the fact remains that the decline of FM paging is not only an Indian phenomenon. Abroad too, FM paging has run into trouble and Nokia, which manufactured FM pagers, has stopped production of four-line FM pagers and reduced the output of one-line pagers.
AIR officials said the reserved was rarely in use due to the paucity of subscribers. And those customers who had taken up FM pagers have now shifted to other radio-paging services. Companies licenced to provide FM paging have reportedly defaulted on payments too.
In Madras alone, the number of subscribers has reportedly reduced from an initial 2,500 to 100 this year. Under such conditions, FM paging appeared to be a sunset industry, sources said.
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