Midas Communication's CEO, Shirish Purohit, says there is nothing to worry about.the launch of Dataone, in an interview with V Jagannathan.
The launch of Dataone broadband service by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has put a question mark on the future of its 128kbps high speed DIAS schemes and its likely impact on the technology provider, the city-based Midas Communication Technologies Pvt Ltd or its Banyan Networks.
Interestingly it was Banyan Networks Limited (now a division of Midas Communication after the merger) that brought the country's only digital subscriber line (DSL) technology - the Direct Internet Access System to the market.
BSNL introduced the high speed DSL service in a limited way offering it in 400 exchanges located in 42 cities. The number of connections were restricted to 480 per exchange. The total number of DIAS subscribers is said to be around 20,000.
Given the fact that BSNL is offering 256kbps speed internet access for Rs500 per month with a download limit of 1 GB, the patronage for DIAS is expected to become almost negligible. However BSNL officials assure that DIAS will be offered at a lower price point.
Midas Communication's CEO, Shirish Purohit, says there is nothing to worry about. "Actually DIAS has been upgraded to a full fledged 'asymmetric digital subscriber line 2 Plus' (ADSL 2+) service. We will continue to be present in the BSNL exchanges." Excerpts:
Didn't Banyan Networks / Midas Communication bid for the broadband technology tender floated by BSNL?
Actually we were not qualified to bid for the tender. One of the tender stipulations was that the bidding company should have experience in operating at least 25 per cent of the line capacity that is being tendered. It is a stipulation made by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to filter bids from companies that do not have appropriate technologies.
You said DIAS has been upgraded to offer a data speed of 256kbps. And BSNL has been deploying your technology for quite some time…
When DIAS was introduced it offered internet access speed of 128kbps. Later the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and others started talking about defining broadband as net connectivity at a minimum speed of 256kbps. Accordingly, we started work to upgrade DIAS.
Meanwhile pressure was building on BSNL to unbundle its last mile so that third party service providers could offer broadband connection on its network. To avoid any such complication BSNL came out with its tender and bought the technology. This coupled with the CVC's stipulation prevented us from bidding.
With BSNL actively promoting its Dataone service, the number of people who would opt for DIAS will decrease, making it impossible for you to fulfill the 25 per cent stipulation in future BSNL tenders.
We sell our DIAS not only to BSNL but also to other telecom companies in India and outside. We are exporting it to five countries. So it is a matter of time before we build the base and qualify for BSNL tenders.
Will Dataone not result in reduced business for Midas, as there will be a reduction in the DIAS subscriber base and consequently intake by BSNL?
also see : BSNL hits the broadband
In revenue terms we do not foresee any business loss. We are in a position to supply the necessary hardware for BSNL's Dataone service.
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