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BSNL banks on broadband boom

New Delhi/Calcutta, March 17: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Korea Telecom have joined hands to offer Indian customers a wide range of broadband services that include cable, telephone connectivity and internet at high speed.

Broadband is an always-on network, capable of providing interactive voice, data and video services on public networks.

The two telecom giants are preparing to offer broadband which is capable of providing a minimum asymmetric bandwidth of 1.5 megabits per second speed and another version capable of offering 256 kilobits per second speed.

As a result of this tieup, BSNL will be able to offer advanced broadband services that will enable customers to download a 90-minute movie in 10-15 minutes, higher voice clarity and a cable connection with high resolution.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference, ‘Convergence India 2004 — The next generation networks’, N. K. Mangla, BSNL’s director commercial and marketing, said, “We have signed an MoU with Korea Telecom to offer broadband services. The company has established itself as the leading service provider in this category in South Korea. Details relating to revenue sharing and commercial agreements will be finalised soon.”

“Many advanced and customer-friendly services can be offered by BSNL under this arrangement. Once the government finalises the broadband and internet policy, we can offer services that are available worldwide on broadband. BSNL will be able to increase its broadband subscriber base from 5 million to 35 million within a year,” said Mangla.

Hansuk Kim, senior vice-president and head of Global Business Centre, Korea Telecom, said, “We have signed the MoU. The details are yet to be worked out. It will be a win-win venture for both the companies.”

In Calcutta, BSNL chairman and managing director V. P. Sinha said, “Broadband will be the bread and butter of BSNL in the years to come.”

“Korea Telecom will act as a consultant and conduct a preliminary survey of the Indian market, mainly in the southern region, for broadband services,” he said. “The survey will cover issues related to manner of deployment and revenue generation capabilities of the service.”

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today announced that the final recommendations on broadband and internet will be submitted to the government with the next 15 days.

Trai chairman Pradip Baijal said, “The 55 million cable TV household reach forms a powerful medium. The government’s decision to entrust Trai to regulate the broadcasting sector is very important since cable TV and telecom networks are converging as part of the next generation networks.”

Baijal said internet and broadband growth was the next step after the government removed the artificial barriers between WiLL and GSM mobile networks to form a single licence. He added that worldwide, the regulators were not able to cope with the growth of technology.

“India still has the advantage to learn from the experience of the rest of the world in channelling the potential of convergent networks,” said Baijal.

Qualcomm investment

Qualcomm, the pioneers of code division multiple access (CDMA) technology, will announce a major investment in the country on Thursday with the aim to harness the software industry in India.

The company is bullish about the prospects for higher sales of CDMA phones worldwide. “We will sell 13 million chip-sets (inserted in a CDMA phone) by September this year out of the total 142 million CDMA phones to be sold during the year,” said Paul Jacobs, executive vice president and group president of Qualcomm.

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