Broadband services market leader in India, BSNL is aiming to extend its lead further and penetrate into the untapped rural segment and keeping in line with this focus, the company on Sunday launched mobile WiMAX services, marking the first commercial launch of the services in the country on a wide scale and particularly covering the rural areas.
BSNL says the services can offer broadband speeds of 7 Mbps and has priced the services at a competitive rate of Rs 140 per month rental.
The services will connect Common Service Centres and will these cenres act as touch point for facilitation of utility services & e-governance such as payment of bills, issue of birth certificates, land records, vehicle registration to name a few. Village Panchayats will also come under connectivity as well as connectivity for ATMs, Railway Reservation Centres. The broadband connectivity will also allow video conferencing services to be used for tele-medicine and tele-education.
In the initial launch phase, the company will cover 1,000 Block Headquarters under the services which in turn will be connected to 11,500 Common Service Centres in respective blocks. The next phase will connect 50,000 Common Service Centres. The project is part of the Bharat Nirman programme of the government of India aiming to close in the digital divide between rural and urban India.
The services were officially launched on Sunday by Minister of State for Telecom, Sachin Pilot at Pisangan, Ajmer, Rakjasthan. Rajsthan has 32 Block Head Quarters under the project.
“It gives me immense pleasure to launch state of the art fully mobile WiMAX ‘e’ enabled Wireless Broadband services for the first time in our country. With the launch of this latest Wireless broadband service in Rural Area of Ajmer, I am sure that Wireless broadband services in Rural area will usher in a new era of growth. Indian Telecom Sector has come a long way in achieving the dreams of common man of this country for affordable and effective communication facilities & WiMAX in rural areas by BSNL is another giant step in this journey,’ said the Minister.
BSNL is already offering WiMAX services in alliance with Soma Networks in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh but these services are considered to be focused only on urban areas in these circles and is mainly focused on the enterprise segment.