Tata to open 1.5 lakh ‘Parsec’ enabled PCOs

Telecom service provider Tata Indicom plans to roll out more than 1.5 lakh ‘Parsec’ enabled PCO outlets across India this fiscal, a company official said.

Of these outlets, 10-15 per cent would be in Kerala.

‘Parsec’ would target high end PCO operators, hotels, restaurants and banks, company’s Regional Manager (South Access Business unit) Ashish Bhatia told reporters here.

The growth of personal communication systems and lowering of long distance telecom tariffs had reduced the revenue of PCO operators and they find it difficult to survive, he said.

‘Parsec’ would enable consumers to check movie reviews, music, cricket scores, gaming, purchase airline tickets and pay electricity bills.

For this purpose, Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) was tying up with mobile electronic top up service providers, banks and Airline Ticketing service providers and Electricity Boards. TTSL has tied up with ICICI bank to process transactions and also have a certificate from the Mastercard-Visa consortium.

The new phones also allows banks a viable alternative for setting up its own point of sale terminals for wiping credit cards, Tata Teleservices’ Circle Operating Officer for Kerala S S Datha said.

The company would deploy parsec terminals at its own cost and charge ‘rentals’ from banks for each parsec activated with Point of Sale (POS) terminals.

With an initial investment of Rs 7,000-9,000, which is refundable, the shop owners, including neighbourhood stores, would be able to provide a variety of services that they do not physically stock or sell.

Tata Indicom is also planning to set up such PCOs in rural areas, providing information to farmers on weather, seeds, fertilisers and commodity markets, he said.