The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This PagePrint This Page
Speak over the phone while you surf

New Delhi, Aug. 26: Worried about the phone calls you could miss because you are logged on to the internet'

Worry no more. TouchTel, the fixed line telephony arm of the Bharti Group, will launch a service in Delhi on Tuesday that will enable users to speak over the telephone while being simultaneously connected to the internet.

The use of one telephone connection for speaking on the phone and surfing the Net at the same time, has become a reality due to a technology known as asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL).

ADSL technology can offer speeds that go beyond those promised by both ISDN (integrated services digital network) and ‘cable modems’ hooked up to cable television lines.

It offers myriad opportunities: you can chat on the Net while your father is on a video teleconference and your brother watches a program on another PC and mother makes calls to her friends — all utilising the same telephone line simultaneously. The initial cost of the modem required to be installed could be high but the benefits are worth the cost.

“Initially, the service will be launched in Delhi. Soon, it will be offered in all the circles where we offer fixed line services,” said a senior TouchTel executive.

State-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd was the first to spell its plans for the launch of this new technology in 1999 under chairman and managing director S. Rajagopalan.

ADSL is designed to work over existing copper wire telephone lines and, therefore, deliver fast and reliable performance without the high costs traditionally associated with either of the other two most highly touted access solutions— ISDN and cable modem.

While both these technologies require considerable infrastructure investment by telephone and cable TV companies, the installation of ADSL is expected to cost less.

The per line cost of an ADSL technology-based telephone connection is expected to be about Rs 8,000-10,000 and is expected to become cheaper within a few years. As against this, the existing cost of an ISDN line is about Rs 30,000-45,000.

MTNL had even prepared plans to float a tender in 1999 to buy ADSL equipment. However, with the change of guard at the PSU, the project was put on the back burner.

The MTNL plan that was placed before its board in May 1999 provided for the installation of 2000-line exchanges in Mumbai and Delhi. The line capacity was supposed to be raised to 5,000 within a couple of months.

Email This PagePrint This Page