New Delhi: Intel India has announced the launch of an industry-wide movement called the 'Connected Indians' where government, industry associations and private enterprise have come together for the common cause of connecting a billion Indians.
The micro chip company also announced a range of affordable devices which are expected to be available in the market over the next several months, starting at a ground breaking price point of Rs5000, exclusive of the cost of display.
Intel's ''connected Indians''movement intends to mobilize people, resources and infrastructure to connect citizens to information, ideas, people, capital and services leading to overall development and future success.
Affordable low-cost device to drive Internet access
Having launched its Atom processor earlier this year, Intel is now looking to capitalise on an emerging class of affordable Internet-centric devices called Netbooks and Nettops. Netbooks are compact mobile devices targeted at children, first-time Internet users and people wanting an additional mobile computing device for basic computing applications, listening to music, e-mailing and surfing the Internet.
These net connectivity devices can also be used for basic online gaming, social networking and voice over IP phone calls.
Intel showcased various designs of Nettops and Netbooks that use the Intel Atom processor from multiple OEMs including Acer, Asus, HCL, Lenovo, Intex, Novatium, Wipro, Zenith as well as local system integrators.
Drive to get millions online
Telecommunications and information technology minister Thiru A Raja said, ''Earlier this year in May, I outlined my digital vision for India at the World Congress of IT (WCIT) in Kuala Lumpur: 500 million Indians connected to the Internet and its unlimited opportunities, with more than l00 million broadband connections, and 100 million broadband enabled devices to drive this 'Connected Indian' milieu leading to the development and growth of a vibrant economy – all by 2012.''
''Since then we have made much progress and my ministry is well on its way to executing this task. The Internet will be the force that propels India into the next decade. The 'Connected Indians' movement will spur effective broadband deployment which in turn will directly contribute to the country's competitiveness.''
''This rapid technological change will ensure India's future success. I therefore congratulate Intel for having facilitated the unique 'Connected Indians' movement with significant contribution from key industry partners and support from the government,'' Raja said.
Intel south Asia managing director of the sales and marketing group, R Sivakumar said, ''Intel recognizes that the Internet is capable of transforming lives and the future of our country. At the same time we also recognize that there is an urgent need for industry and government to collaborate to enable people to connect to the Internet.''
He said that through the 'connected Indians' movement Intel hope to achieve that, and that the movement is privileged to be supported by the government, ecosystem partners as well as numerous other industry stalwarts.
Coupled with a slew of affordable computing devices now available, the movement is set to go a long way in driving connectivity.
Intel – BSNL MoU
BSNL, India's largest telecom company has committed support to accelerate broadband internet in India. To this end, Intel and BSNL have announced a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will jointly propagate broadband internet across the country along with wireless solutions such as WiMAX to enable inclusive economic growth in India.
At appropriate times Cisco and BSNL will jointly promote the business and technology advantages of WiMAX to corporations and enterprises. Intel and BSNL have decided to work together to evolve a set of basic standards for building WiMax rollout and applications in India and develop a pilot WiMax solution specifically for rural markets.
Intel will provide help set up a proof of concept lab for Wimax and other wireless broadband technologies and include BSNL in any certification/verification programs.
Intel and BSNL will also jointly undertake co-marketing programs to promote BSNL's connectivity and content services.
Industry Effort to drive broadband and Internet connectivity
The Internet is fast emerging as a defining step in education, communication, business and entertainment. Intel says that while while Indians make up almost a fifth of the world's population, only a minuscule section are connected to the Internet.
The 'Connected Indians' movement is an ambitious multi-year effort to change that. Intel is working with a number of industry partners to make this dream a reality.
Various industry bodies such as The Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology (MAIT), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and the WiMax Forum have endorsed this movement.
Information technology education partner NIIT will lend support to the movement through its reach to proliferate the benefits of Internet education to citizens through a special course on Internet education and PC fundamentals which will be made accessible at NIIT centres throughout the country.
NIIT will also open up its centres across India to allow people to walk in and go through an introductory module on eLearning and the power of the Internet.
Intel says the first 10,000 citizens can avail of this eLearning module for free.
Tata Communications and Tata Teleservices will collaborate with Intel in a strategic co-marketing program to make broadband and Internet solutions pervasive.
Both Tata Group companies , through their range of connectivity solutions, will work with Intel to create awareness amongst citizens on the benefits of the Internet and what it can enable.
The joint initiative will cover around 100 cities and towns across India over the next few months, and the program will cover the entire spectrum of connectivity solutions and range of devices based on Intel processors, including the new Intel Atom Processor based Netbooks and Nettops.
Google, Reliance Communications, Croma and Tata Indicom have also pledged support to the ''connected Indians'' cause.