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June 18, 1997


Quickcalls to sell radio trunking services in Madras

Quickcalls, a joint venture between Motorola and the LNJ Bhilwara Group, has announced the commercial availability of its radio trunking service in Madras.

The company has already launched the service, dubbed Smart Mobile, in Bangalore. It expects to begin operations soon in the other cities for which it has obtained licences, including Hyderabad and Cochin.

With this announcement, Quickcalls has become the first company to have a fully operational trunking service in Madras. Other companies which have obtained licences to operate radio trunking services in the city include Arvind Telcom and the city-based Hofintel.

Radio trunking is a two-way wireless communications service which is especially ideal for group communications. Users of the service, who are equipped with wireless handsets, can expect to have mobile communications anywhere within the city limits (30 km radius).

The service is similar to cellular telephony in many respects. However, only one 'party' to the call is allowed to speak at a particular instant in time. Other members of the group have to wait for him to finish before any of them can speak.

Also, though it is technically possible to make (and receive) calls from the trunking network to the public telephone network, the DoT has disallowed this facility in India. This restricts the trunking service to closed users groups-like the employees of a single company.

According to S Ashok Kumar, city manager, Quickcalls, the company will be targeting large corporate houses in the city including hospitals, transport agencies and private airlines.

He expects the service, which is currently in the concept selling stage, to notch up some 500 "radios" (handsets) within the next six months.

Quickcalls will be charging a flat monthly fee of Rs 1,200 per handset. The cost of each handset, supplied by Motorola, will be Rs 26,000. The company is also planning to make special offers for customers wishing to set up private 'talk groups' within the corporate group.

This service, which will allow individual users within the group to hold private conversations, will be available at an additional charge.

Quickcalls is currently using five frequency channels (which can support 50 radios on the network) for providing the service in the city. According to Ashok Kumar, the company's equipment is upgradable to 28 channels (which can support up to 3,000 handsets).

- Compiled from the Indian media

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