Public sector telecom major Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd''s (BSNL)
Wi-Max rollout scheduled for later in 2008 will have a large
share of rural play, and will most likely incorporate a
major educational component.
successful bidder is likely to be mandated to wire-up
some 40,000 odd primary and secondary schools across the
country with wireless broadband.
to sources at BSNL, an MoU exists to this effect between
the HRD ministry and the DoT. Sources indicate that public
sector telecom companies have already started a pilot
project across eight cities, with 10-11 companies having
shown interest in providing equipment for the project.
week, an announcement by BSNL chairman and managing director
Kuldeep Goyal said that the company would soon call for
expressions of interest (EoI) for deploying 2 million
WiMax lines, in about a week''s time. The order size is
estimated at around Rs2,000 crore, and is looking to cover
around 25,000 villages in a year''s time. It would also
be one of the biggest tender proposals in the world for
WiMax equipment procurement and deployment across this
wide a scale, and would include wiring up around 50,000
plus internet kiosks across India.
is likely to synergise its existing tower network for
Wi-Max base stations. Limited WiMax networks have been
rolled out by telecom companies like BSNL, Reliance, VSNL,
Bharti Televentures and Aircel, along with internet service
providers like Sify. Others like Tata Teleservices are
testing out networks at various places.
sources indicate that in the absence of clarity on the government''s
broadband policy and on the spectrum for WiMax, BSNL will
most probably be allowed to commence services on a 2.5 GHz
spectrum, with a view to avoid delays on the project. On
account of low broadband penetration, and the government
having set a target of 20 million subscribers by 2010, WiMax
is seen by some as the only viable option to achieve the