State-run firm MTNL today said it expects to post operational profit at the end of the current financial year and turn profitable in 2017-18. “We expect to be operationally profitable in 2016-17 and completely profitable in 2017-18,” MTNL Chairman and Managing Director Narendra Kumar Yadav told reporters. The state-run telecom firm has been running in losses since 2009-10. Also Read - Airtel 5G Mumbai trials show download speeds of 1.2Gbps, upload at 850MbpsAlso Read - BSNL launches new limited time Rs 45 FRC: Here's how it compares with Airtel, Jio, Vi
The PSU reported operating loss of Rs 526.42 crore for the Janaury-March quarter of 2015-16. However, it was able to post a net profit of Rs 174.58 crore for the quarter on account of refunds for surrendering CDMA spectrum. For the full 2015-16 fiscal, it reported operating loss of Rs 1,944.60 crore on standalone basis. For the fiscal ended March 31, 2016, MTNL’s standalone net loss narrowed to Rs 2,005.74 crore, from Rs 2,893.39 crore a year-ago period.
“Out of the total loss of about Rs 2,000 crore, about Rs 1,800 crore is from mobile services which accounts for only 15 percent of MTNL’s revenue. Now we will focus on basic telephone business for growth and look at partnership with BSNL for running mobile business,” Yadav said.
The company is looking at BSNL to provide equipment for its mobile services in Delhi and Mumbai circles as managed service provider on revenue share basis. MTNL is also looking to expand its basic or fixed services network in partnership with private players on revenue share basis.
The telecom regulator TRAI today issued a network test report which showed MTNL plunging in all service quality parameters.
“Since last six years MTNL has not been able to procure equipment because of financial constraints. We expect our discussion with BSNL to show result in next 4-5 months to improve mobile services,” Yadav said. He said that MTNL was given broadband and 3G spectrum for which it paid Rs 11,000 crore in 2010 which affected its balance sheet.
When asked about frequent disruption in landline services, Yadav said “Copper cables of MTNL often get stolen which we are now replacing with optical fibre. This will not only stop cable theft but also improve service quality.” He said MTNL keeps registering FIR with police in Delhi and Mumbai but no arrests have been made till date.
Around a year ago, MTNL’s even underground cable were stolen in diplomatic area of Chanakyapuri in Delhi which is a high security zone. Yadav said that MTNL has started new toll free number ‘1130’ which can be dialed from any network in Delhi and Mumbai for registering complaints.
The company is targeting to connect about 1.5 lakh buildings in Delhi and Mumbai with optical for providing its services in next 1-2 years. It is also looking to utilize rooftop space for generating 1 megawatt of solar power.