labels: tata teleservices, hcl comnet
HCL Comnet procures rural telephony order news
Our Convergence Bureau
30 May 2002
Mumbai: HCL Comnet, India's leading IT services management company, becomes the first VSAT provider in India to install solar-powered VSATs to enable rural telephony in 1,000 villages in Andhra Pradesh.

HCL Comnet bagged the services order from Tata Teleservices, against tough competition from other VSAT service providers, to implement 1,000 VSATs, connecting villages in and around Paderu district (150 kms from Vishakhapatnam). This project is first of its kind in India, based on the world-renowned Gilat DialAway technology, which uses solar panels capable of giving 72 hours backup without recharging the battery.

The project involves installation of VSATs and bandwidth allocation as per requirements. In the first phase of the project, HCL Comnet has already installed over 150 VSATs. The company has undertaken the hub installation, backhaul connectivity between Hyderabad and Noida Hub and switch integration in five days and activated 120 VSATs in a record time of seven days.

Slated to offer the services by end June 2002, Tata Teleservices is the first basic service provider in India to launch this initiative towards fulfilling the USO obligation of village private telephony using VSATs. The rollout plan entails installing 250 VSATs by May-end and 750 VSATs by June 2002.

Commenting on the project, HCL Comnet satellite services general manager I V Rajesh said: ''It is a big challenge to implement a network connecting extreme rural and hilly areas without proper transportation, in a record time - a turnkey project to be installed and commissioned within the stiff timelines laid down by Tata Teleservices. This rural project further reinforces HCL Comnet's commitment to project manage and rollout large-scale networks within the committed deadlines.''

The implementation involves installation of pole-mounted VSATs with solar panels, batteries and lightning arresters, VSAT activation and voice integration with Tata Teleservices' PSTN switch at Hyderabad through the DialAway Hub at the Shared Hub facility in Noida.

The department of telecommunications has given a special permission for PSTN interconnection to Tata Teleservices for operating this network using HCL Comnet shared hub service on Ku band. Data services are planned by Tata Teleservices at a later date.

DialAway technology, provided by Gilat, the world's leading VSAT manufacturer, has been very successful for rural telephony around the world, especially in South Africa, Indonesia and Peru. DialAway is a low-cost rural telephony solution that provides on-demand voice, fax and data services to and from remote locations via satellite.

DialAway delivers toll-quality voice transmission and represents the most cost-effective solution for rural connectivity where any other connectivity option such as GSM and radio will be unavailable, unreliable and not feasible. The system is ideal for providing public-call office, payphone and emergency telephone services in any location.

Having a total installed base of approximately 6,500 VSATs, HCL Comnet has the largest market share in the country. The company pioneered VSAT connectivity in the country and has been rated as the No 1 VSAT service provider in India, consecutively for the second year (as per V&D's nationwide survey - Networking Masters). The latest survey indicates a market share of 50.82 per cent on the basis of the number of VSATs installed in the financial year 2001-02.

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HCL Comnet procures rural telephony order