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June date for BSNL upgrade

Calcutta, Feb. 25: State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) today said it would start upgrading its landline networks in the city from June.

Built around the Internet protocol, the next generation network (NGN) will bring in architectural changes, facilitate the convergence of all services and allow landlines to carry a mix of voice, data and even video calling signals using the same platform.

The replacement work will be carried out in a phased manner and take 2-3 years.

“Upgradation to the NGN will take 2-3 years to complete. We are in the process of acquiring the necessary equipment and that should start coming in June. The tender process has been completed. We will be spending close to Rs 2,000 on upgrading each line or connection. This will involve replacement of the existing landline exchanges in phases. By 2015, the entire landline network will be around an IP,” said Somnath Maity, chief general manager (Calcutta circle), of BSNL.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a session organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce & Industry on the challenges faced by the telecom sector.

BSNL has about 500 exchanges and 10 lakh landline customers in the Calcutta circle.

According to Maity, the switch will significantly boost the company’s fixed-line business and increase service reliability.

On the growth in landline and broadband subscriber base, Maity said, “For us, the number of broadband and landline customers are static. We now have 2.5 lakh broadband users here which is about 25 per cent of the landline subscriber base.”