MTNL's low-cost broadband service to roll out in new yearSiddharth Zarabi, HT Corporate Bureau, December 15, 2004 Come January and telecom users will see the cheapest ever broadband service in Delhi and Mumbai. Close to 350,000 users are expected to enroll with MTNL's service that will offer users a minimum 128 kbps of download speeds and 2-3 megabits in most circumstances. The key will be the low-cost tariff structure with a combination of a time-based access and volume-based plans. Almost ten tariff options will be available with features like free e-mail IDs. Users will pay an average Rs 200 monthly at the lower end for a service that will allow them at least 100 Mb of free download every month. Outlining MTNL's broadband plans, chairman & MD R.S.P. Sinha told the Hindustan Times: "As the rollout picks up speed, we will tender another 1 million lines for expansion. By 2005 end we hope to have as many subscribers. The rates are going to be the cheapest".Interestingly, MTNL broadband will support three-way services - TV channel, Net connectivity and phone capability - all at the same time. To start with users can access 35 channels from public service broadcaster Doordarshan. "We are in talks with DD for this", Sinha added.MTNL has also shown a drastic uplift in mobile phone subscribers over the past month. Over 72,000 prepaid connections have been sold in 20 days alone, said Sinha, adding the figure would grow with postpaid connections being made available. "We have reached a situation where the churn of subscribers has been brought down. Net additions have turned positive", he said.On the corporate front, MTNL has introduced a VRS for its group C&D employees. The scheme will close this monthend. Earlier attempts to bring in a VRS by successive management's had been opposed severely. This time it is believed the scheme will show positive results. "We are repositioning the company and should see good results in the future", Sinha said.