The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Webel knits retail Net

Webel is all set to tap retail consumers and corporate clients to make its Internet service provider (ISP) business viable.

The project, which recently commenced commercial operations, will be implemented in three phases.

The focus in the first two phases will be the home or the retail segment and the vehicle will be a network of cable operators spread across the city’s telecom area, from Kalyani to Diamond Harbour and Uluberia to Naihati. The state government’s nodal IT agency has already obtained a licence for Calcutta. It has also applied for an ISP license for the West Bengal telecom area, to take its services beyond the city limits.

“We have tied up with 20 master control rooms (MCR) in the city and expect to take the number to 40 in the next few months. Each MCR controls 25 to 30 cable operators on an average,” said Susobhan Chattopadhyay, project-in-charge, Webel-ISP.

To offer the services, Webel has joined hands with city-based technology solution provider Globetek Infosys. “Besides giving speedier Internet access and quality bandwidth, our service is hassle-free, too. It does not require any additional installations at the end-user point,” said Arunava Kar Chowdhury, CEO of the company.

At present, Webel sources its bandwidth requirement of 10 mbps from Bharti and the Software Technology Parks of India. But the company expects that with more users logging in to the network, the demand will go up to 15 mbps shortly. Webel is in the midst of drawing up plans to augment the infrastructure.

According to Chattopadhyay, the project will generate profits in the first year of its operation. “We expect to generate more than Rs 2 crore in revenue, against an investment of Rs 1.2 crore in the first year.”

For corporate clients, Webel is concentrating on Sector V in Salt Lake. It plans to reach out to the small and medium enterprises after consolidating its position in Saltlec (Salt Lake Electronics Complex). “By November, we will get the licence to operate across the state. It will enable us to use the e-governance backbone and reach out to all the 18 districts with all the application services,” said Chowdhury.

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