BSNL to roll out broadband service in Karnataka

Monday, 26 July 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: India's national telecom provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is gearing up to provide broadband service in Karnataka by the end of the year.

Being implemented as part of BSNL's nationwide Internet backbone multi protocol label switching-based Internet Protocol (IP) with an investment of 6 billion ($129.8 million), the project envisages installation of 71 major nodes across the country. These include five nodes in Karnataka at Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Hubli and Belgaum.

"We are locating the master network operating centre in Bangalore and the disaster recovery site at Pune in Maharashtra. On commissioning, the broadband service will provide high speed Internet and value-added services such as virtual private network, video multicast, bandwidth and video on demand over DSL lines," said Karnataka's BSNL chief general manager S. Ramaganapathy.

In the run-up to rolling out the broadband services, BSNL has launched a pilot project in this hi-tech city to test its network equipment and the last mile access by providing high-speed bandwidth to select enterprise and domestic subscribers.

"The broadband network management software will be capable of online measurement and monitoring of network parameters. We are also considering an Internet data centre in Bangalore to facilitate corporates and institutions to host their web sites on a reliable and secure environment," Ramaganapathy told IANS.

Welcoming the recent launch of India Broadband Forum by the Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association to promote extensive usage of broadband service across the country, Ramaganapathy said optical fibre network would lead to reduction in rates for a wide range of services.

"The next round of reduction in tariffs could take place with broadband service offerings when operational costs are expected to be pared by optimal utilisation of the bandwidth capacity.

"By offering triple play -- voice, data and video content -- using the optical fibre lines, we will be leveraging the convergence of technologies. Customers will have the option to select services through the web server," Ramaganapathy disclosed.

To facilitate simultaneous introduction of broadband services through the five nodes across Karnataka, BSNL will be extending its optical fibre cable by 1,000 km to cover the entire state with a 37,000 km network.

As part of its modernisation plans, BSNL is working on introducing 200,000-line IP-based next generation network across the country. Out of this national network, Bangalore will have 12,000-line IP-based trunk automatic exchange.

"We have invited tenders for this project and will be opened in August. We plan to invest about Rs 1.2 billion on this state-of-the-art project," the official noted.

After a gap of four-five months, BSNL is resuming issue of its Excel pre-paid SIM cards from Monday to meet the growing demand for its GSM service in the state.

"We are offering about 100,000 pre-paid cards from July 26 through our customer care centres and select distributors. Another 100,000 pre-paid cards will be available from next month should the need arise," Ramaganapathy said.

With 260,000 pre-paid and 100,000 post-paid CellOne subscribers in Karnataka, BSNL plans to expand its cellular service to achieve a target of 800,000 GSM lines by this year-end.

"To maintain the service quality and connectivity across the state, we are expanding the base stations to 500 by December from 287 presently, including about 200 towers in and around Bangalore alone," the CGM added.

Source: IANS
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