On 25 Aug 2009, 1909 hrs IST, Niranjana Ramesh, ET Bureau at
CHENNAI: Sify Technologies, a pioneer among private service providers (ISP) in India with 5.7 lakh subscribers and a 5.8% market share, is now targeting yet another area of telecommunications for a first mover advantage – Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), for the mass consumer market, as and when government regulation permits it within the country.
“It is a foregone conclusion that we would have a tremendous edge in the VoIP space, technically, when such telephony is allowed in India,” said Sify chief architect (CTO) Arvind Mathur. “Sify’s network is spread across India covering all states with 900 points of presence.” A point of presence (POP) in internet protocol is analogous to a base station or a telecom tower in mobile telephony. But, the capacity of a POP is expandable based on the nodes attached to it.
Sify also holds significant spectrum in the 2.4 GHz, 3.3 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands. 2.4 GHz has, recently, been chosen for the purpose of Wimax services in India, and is yet to be auctioned off. “We will comply by whatever regulation that the government stipulates for the usage of such spectrum,” Mr.Mathur said. “But, we hold enough spectrum to be able to effectively provide last mile connectivity as well as POP to POP connectivity through the wireless mode. We have also invested in buying or leasing cable from carriers for long distance connectivity.”
The company has, in the past few years, ramped up its data centre capacity to augment its core competency of internet protocol based communication. It has invested Rs.100 crore in building data centers in different locations with a total capacity of 2 lakh square feet, to process and store all the transactions – voice or text – that goes via Sify’s IP network.
Presently, the company’s revenues are more leveraged from the managed network and ICT services that it provides to its corporate and enterprise customers. The share of corporate services in the company’s revenues has gone up from 55% to 70% over the past three years, while that of retail service has gone down from 39% to 21% in the same period of time.
“But, when triple play (voice, video, data) is allowed using internet protocol, as it is using mobile telephony today, we will have our network and data centers all ready to expand operations in the consumer market,” Mr.Mathur said. The company has been providing for international calls as well as the BPO industry. It presently has 150 BPO customers, doing 100 million minutes of voice calls annually. It also provides virtualisation, cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) and solutions to its clients.