Posts Tagged ‘WiMAX’
Posted by telcobizpedia on August 26, 2009
26 Aug 2009, 0044 hrs IST, Kalyan Parbat & Joji Thomas Philip, ET Bureau at http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/DoT-proposes-tax-breaks-for-3G-winners/articleshow/4934677.cms.
KOLKATA: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will ask the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on 3G-spectrum auction, headed by Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, to consider a proposal under which successful bidders of pan-India 3G spectrum can enjoy tax benefits applicable under section 80-1A of the Income Tax Act.
The DoT’s rationale is that the 3G mobile broadband should be treated as a distinct infrastructure service and not continuity of telecom operations, especially in case of 2G service providers pitching for a pan-India 3G licence. The DoT will place the proposal during the second meeting of the EGoM scheduled for Thursday.
The proposal for tax benefits applicable under section 80-1A of the Income Tax Act is part of an internal note prepared by DoT that will be circulated to EGoM members, a senior DoT official told ET.
Currently, only telecom companies that kicked off operations between April 1, 1995 and March 31, 2000 enjoy income tax breaks under section 80-1A. If the EGoM were to accept the DoT proposal, it would imply that 3G operations of telecom companies will enjoy income tax breaks on 100% of their profits for initial five years. In the next five years, these telcos will enjoy a 30% tax break on their profits.
The DoT note to the EGoM also adds that Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is of the view that it cannot spare any further airwaves for WiMax services. As reported by ET earlier this month, ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair had said that the Department of Space (DoS) has already parted with 40 MHz of airwaves for WiMax services in the 2.5 GHz band.
He said any interference from the WiMax services offered in this band in the future could “severely affect the very sensitive satellite services in the adjacent band”. Mr Nair had also added the DoS is now left with only 150 MHz of airwaves in the 2.5 GHz band, the bare minimum requirement for satellite services.
The DoT note to the EGoM was prepared by its joint secretary (T) and consists of demands from the industry, especially those of CDMA-based operators, and includes the views of the DoS on WiMax spectrum.
The EGoM is slated to settle all outstanding issues associated with the auction of 3G airwaves, vital for high-end services such as high-speed internet and video conferencing on mobiles.
It will take a final call on the reserve price for 3G and WiMAX spectrums and decide on the number of players to be allowed to offer these high-end services in each circle.
It is also learnt that the EGoM may also debate whether the government at all has the right to urge successful bidders of 3G spectrum to shell out an extra Rs 1,600 crore-plus for a separate pan-India UAS licence, especially when DoT knows only too well that there is no extra 4.4 MHz 2G spectrum available to bundle with new licences.
“At a time when the DoT’s wireless planning cell is well aware that it won’t be able to meet future 2G spectrum obligation for new UASL licencees, why should they be asked to shell out an extra Rs 1,600 crore plus full complement of the licence fees. While nothing has been finalised yet, a successful bidder of 3G spectrum, alternately, may also be asked to shell out a lower sum for a pure vanilla UASL without the bundled spectrum,” said a government official familiar with the matter.
Indications are that a section of E-GoM members are loathe to the idea of fixing the number of slots for 3G services to a maximum five (including BSNL) per service area. “Considering that, there are as many 11 to 9 slots available in some circles like Orissa and Madhya Pradesh, the E-GoM is likely to debate the rationale of uniformly restricting the number of slots (per circle) for delivery of 3G services. There is a feeling in the finance ministry that such restriction can tantamount to a loss of potential revenue for the government,” said a DoT official close to the developments.
Posted in BSNL, Government, Govt Financials, Internet, Spectrum, Statutory And Regulatory | Tagged: 2G, 3G, Broadband, BSNL, CDMA, DoS, DoT, G Madhavan Nair, Government, ISRO, license, minister, mobile, Pranab Mukherjee, Spectrum, UAS, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on August 25, 2009
On 25 Aug 2009, 1909 hrs IST, Niranjana Ramesh, ET Bureau at http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Sify-targets-voice-telecom-pie-via-VoIP/articleshow/4933615.cms
CHENNAI: Sify Technologies, a pioneer among private internet 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 ISP 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 VoIP services 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) applications and solutions to its clients.
Posted in Data Center, Infrastructure And Service Enablers, Managed Services, New Developments, Other Infrastructure, Carriers and Logistics, Spectrum, VoIP | Tagged: Arvind Mathur, Data Center, Internet, ISP, Managed Network, SaaS, SiFy, subscribers, VoIP, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on August 15, 2009
Operator will have to partner a company that has no expertise in the area
MTNL asking for too much of revenue share and branding
Thomas K. Thomas on August 15, 2009 in The Hindu Business Line at http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2009/08/15/stories/2009081551020400.htm
New Delhi, Aug. 14 International WiMax operators eyeing MTNL’s franchisee contract are unhappy with the conditions specified by the state-owned company in the tender document.
Some of the operators have told MTNL that the terms were restrictive as they permit only system integrators (SIs) or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bid.
“We met senior MTNL officials and have told them the disadvantages of allowing only SIs and OEMs to bid. This will mean that an international operator, who has all the experience to take forward MTNL’s WiMax services, will have to necessarily partner with a company that has no idea of rolling out broadband services,” said a foreign operator looking to bid for the WiMax project.
Another operator said that while an SI did not have any idea of rolling out a WiMax network, OEMs would not like to partner with MTNL and become competition to the private players, who could be their clients. “An equipment vendor can never become an operator. It will lead to a clash of interest with its other customers,” said the operator.
Foreign players have also pointed out that MTNL was asking for too much in terms of revenue share and branding conditions whereby it has been made mandatory to use the PSU’s name to sell service.
“Why would a foreign player invest in setting up a network if it has to offer services in MTNL’s brand and also offer a large part of the revenue to the PSU?” asked a foreign player. However, MTNL officials said several system integrators and original equipment manufacturers have expressed interest.
“We are not forcing anyone to bid. These are the terms and conditions that we have put out for the benefit of MTNL. We are not responsible for another operator’s business case. Having said that, there are a number of OEMs in the WiMax space who are adopting new business models whereby they set up the network and also manage it. There are foreign players we know who are talking to such OEMs to jointly bid for this project. We hope to get a good response,” said an MTNL official.
A number of players, including SOMA, Yota, UQ Communications and Spice Group, may bid for the MTNL project, which envisages wireless broadband services in Delhi and Mumbai. But foreign companies such as Yota and UQ will have to partner a system integrators or an original equipment manufacturer if they want to bid.
SOMA is on a stronger wicket because it is both an operator and an original equipment manufacturer.
MTNL will enter into a revenue sharing agreement with successful bidders.
Posted in Equipment Manufacturer, Infrastructure And Service Enablers, Investment, Joint Venture, MTNL, Other Infrastructure, Carriers and Logistics | Tagged: Broadband, MTNL, SOMA, Spice Group, UQ Communications, WiMAX, Wireless, Yota | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on August 14, 2009
The Hindu Business Line of August 14, 2009 at http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2009/08/15/stories/2009081551000401.htm
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has awarded a contract to US-based equipment manufacturer Harris Stratex for supplying WiMax base stations in Kerala. BSNL said the contract was not based on a franchisee model but on outright purchase of equipment. This is part of BSNL’s urban WiMax project to roll out wireless broadband services. The contract was bagged by Telsima, which was recently acquired by Harris Stratex. The US-based firm has partnered Indian turnkey solutions provider ICOMM for implementing the project. The PSU had earlier given a similar contract to Huawei for supplying gear in Punjab. – Our Bureau
Posted in BSNL, Equipment Manufacturer, Infrastructure And Service Enablers, Joint Venture, Other Infrastructure, Carriers and Logistics | Tagged: BSNL, Harris Stratex, Huawei, ICOMM, Telisma, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 18, 2009
via BSNL to set up 6 WiMax stations in Orissa – CIOL News Reports, http://www.ciol.com on Thursday, June 18, 2009
KOLKATA, INDIA: Aiming rural India, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has decided to set up six Wi-Max (wireless broadband) stations in its Berhampur telecom district (BTD), which covers Ganjam and Gajapati districts in south Orissa.
B K Nayak, general manager, BSNL’s Berhampur telecom district, said: “The equipment has already been provided for installation of the Wi-Max stations and the stations are expected to be operational during the current year.”
Related stories at
Excerpt from above
While as many as 3176 broadband connections have been provided in the Berhampur telecom district so far 7,500 more connections are to be provided during 2009-10.
The telecom district has also planned to introduce EVDO (evolution data only) System or wireless data cards in Berhampur, Chhatrapur and Paralakhemundi, the district headquarter town of Gajapati district during the current year.
The EVDO service has already been commenced at Golanthara in Ganjam district in March this year. This service was introduced in Golanthara on the outskirts of Berhampur as a number of technical institutes are located there and the service was needed for the benefit of the students, said Nayak.
He said that BSNL would provide 80,000 new mobile connections in the Berhampur telecom circle in 2009-10.
Posted in BSNL, Other Infrastructure, Carriers and Logistics | Tagged: B K Nayak, Broadband, BSNL, EVDO, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 18, 2009
Thomas K Thomas on The Hindu Business Line on June 18, 2009
New Delhi, June 17 To ramp up its customer service capabilities, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd is scouting for private call centre units that can operate contact centres for addressing complaints from fixed line and broadband subscribers across the country.
BSNL has invited expression of interest from private players for setting up the contact centres.
According to the expression of interest floated by the company, the private player will set up, operate and maintain the contact centres, including agents at their own premises. The agents will be required to handle queries from customers and provide solutions. This will also include obtaining customer feedback.
Initially, the contract will be for three years and will be extendable for the next two years on year-to-year basis at the discretion of BSNL. The PSU may expand the scope of work to include BSNL’s other services apart from landline and broadband services.
Only companies with experience in operation of contact centres in India for the last two consecutive years with minimum of 1,000 operational seats deployed for domestic clients and with at least 500 operational seats at a single location are eligible to bid for the contract.
The call centre company should also have experience in servicing a telecom service provider operating in more than three States. The company should have at least four contact centres/call centres in India at different geographical locations for the last one year.
BSNL is increasingly outsourcing its operations to private players. To save on capital expenditure and roll out services faster, BSNL is taking the outsourcing route in a big way for new projects.
The PSU has invited bids from private players for at least five of its projects including offering WiMax services, Internet Protocol Television and setting up Internet Data Services. It recently sought expression of interest from large retail chains to sell BSNL products and services. The trend is in line with what private telecom operators are doing. Majors such as Bharti Airtel have outsourced most of their operations to third party vendors.
Posted in BSNL, Outsourcing | Tagged: BSNL, IDC, IPTV, outsourcing, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 17, 2009
Interview with – Mr Tatsuo Sato
Thomas K. Thomas on The Hindu Business Line, June 17, 2009
New Delhi, June 16 With the Government all set to finalise its policy for auctioning broadband access spectrum, a number of Japanese companies, including KDDI-backed UQ Communications, are looking to invest in the Indian WiMax space.
Responding to an e-mailed query, Mr Tatsuo Sato, Senior Manager, UQ Communications, told Business Line, “India is fast growing country, and many Japanese enterprises are interested in investing in the Indian WiMAX market. We strongly hope the Indian Government will assign wider bandwidth for WiMAX in order to give Indian operators more flexibility and capability for service expansion. Also, we recommend India to use 2.5GHz because it makes PC manufacturers install WiMAX easily because 2.5GHz WiMAX can utilise Wi-Fi antenna which has already been built into most laptops.”
Tokyo-based UQ Communications is backed by a consortium comprising big names including Intel, KDDI, Kyocera, railway operator JR East, Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank and Daiwa Securities. The company has launched WiMax-based broadband services on a pilot basis with 8,000 subscribers in Japan and is hoping to go commercial starting next month.
Mr Sato said that Indian policy-makers should look at allocating at least 30 Mhz of broadband spectrum to each operator. “30MHz or more bandwidth should be assigned. The wider the spectrum, the better for coverage expansion and for future technology expansion toward new standard 802.16m that realises 100Mbps+ download speed,” he said. The Department of Telecom has proposed to allocate 20 Mhz per operator.
Explaining why UQ chose WiMax technology over other third generation technologies, he said, “UQ selected WiMAX because it has fast-mover advantage over other technologies. Both WiMAX and LTE use orthogonal frequency multiple access and multiple input multiple output, however, WiMAX is way ahead of LTE, and many WiMAX products have been introduced to the market. KDDI, which has 32.26 per cent of UQ’s share, provides EVDO (a 3G technology) but its service is based on cellular phones, and its required data speed is not so high. WiMAX, like Wi-Fi, is born through an Internet-based culture.
“With an open standard, many device manufacturers make a variety of devices, and numerous operators (includes mobile virtual network operators) create various value added services. As a result, WiMAX users can select from a variety of devices and services,” he said.
Posted in Equipment Manufacturer, Spectrum | Tagged: Daiwa Securities, EVDO, Intel, JR East, KDDI, Kyocera, LTE, Spectrum, Tatsuo Sato, Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank, UQ Communications, WiFi, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 16, 2009
Raja expects minimum Rs 25,000 cr from 3G, BWA spectrum bids
From http://www.economictimes.com on 16 Jun 2009, 1617 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: Telecom Minister A Raja on Tuesday said that he expects revenue of at least Rs 25,000 crore from the auction of radio waves for third generation (3G) mobile, broadband and wireless services.
Raja, who met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, said his department had assured the government of an early service rollout.
“In connection with the 3G and WiMAX auctions, we assured (the Finance Minister) of an early rollout, an early auction and more revenue for the government,” Raja told reporters after meeting Mukherjee earlier today.
Raja’s estimate is lower than what (Rs 30,000 crore) the government had forecast last year when the 3G auction process was announced.
Raja meets Mukherjee again in the evening seeking clarity on the number of licences to be auctioned and the reserve price to be set. DoT officials will also be there to discuss the issue with their counterparts in the Finance Ministry.
DoT plans to auction frequency for 20 of India’s 22 telecom service areas. The exercise has been delayed after the Finance Ministry suggested that the starting auction price of Rs 2,020 crore be doubled.
via Raja expects minimum Rs 25,000 cr from 3G, BWA spectrum bids- Telecom-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times.
Posted in Government, Govt Financials, Spectrum | Tagged: 3G, A Raja, communications ministry, DoT, Government, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 16, 2009
Thomas K Thomas on The Hindu Business Line on June 16, 2009
New Delhi, June 15 In a bid to save on capital expenditure and to roll out services faster, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd is taking the franchisee route in a big way for new projects.
The PSU has invited bids from private players for at least five of its projects, including for offering WiMax services, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and setting up Internet Data Services.
According to BSNL officials, the company may be saving more than Rs 10,000 crore of capital investment by adopting the franchisee model. Take for example the controversial WiMax project wherein the company is planning to allow a private player in each circle to utilise its spectrum and back haul infrastructure to offer high-speed broadband on a revenue share basis. The franchisee will make all the investments required to set up the network and also undertake marketing and sales on behalf of BSNL. It is following a similar business model for IPTV services.
According to BSNL officials, this model also minimises risks for the state-owned company especially in areas where the technology or the service being offered is relatively new and untested.
“While we are offering our traditional businesses like mobile ,fixed line and long distance telephony on our own we are seeking private participation for new services like IPTV and WiMax-based services where we are yet to see an uptake in demand across the world. In the franchisee model, we let private entrepreneurs take the risk,” said a BSNL official.
Most of the deals being worked out by BSNL include transfer of business operation to the PSU after a certain period of time which means that if the service does succeed then BSNL gets to run the show at a later date.
BSNL is also now slowly beginning to use private players in marketing and sales activities. It has recently sought expression of interest from large retail chains to sell BSNL products and services over their counters.
The trend is in line with what private telecom operators are doing. Most big players such as Bharti Airtel have outsourced most of their operations to third party vendors. While BSNL being a Government-run company cannot outsource its operations to a private player, it is using the franchisee model to create efficiency in its operations.
BSNL officials said that depending on the successes of these projects which have been launched the PSU will evaluate further opportunities to partner private players on a franchisee model.
Posted in BSNL, Data Center, Equipment Manufacturer, Other Infrastructure, Carriers and Logistics, Outsourcing | Tagged: BSNL, Internet Data Centres, IPTV, outsourcing, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 15, 2009
By Bijoy Ghosh on The Hindu Business Line on June 15, 2009
Chennai, June 14 To ramp up its operation in the e-governance segment, Zylog Systems plans to acquire two overseas companies by the year-end.
On the sidelines of launching the ‘Wi5’ wireless broadband services, Mr Ramanujam Sesharathnam, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Zylog Systems, said that the company was in talks with a couple of companies with revenues of less than $10 million (about Rs 50 crore) in the e-governance and managed governance space.
The company had acquired PEQ Consulting, an infrastructure management company, and Fairfax Consulting in November 2008.
Zylog Systems India, a subsidiary of Zylog Systems, will invest about Rs 200 crore in expanding its ‘Wi5’ wireless broadband services in five metropolitan cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata – in two years.
With 250 wireless nodes installed across Chennai, 4,000 more nodes are expected to be operational in the city in 12-15 months.
On why the company chose Wi5 technology and not the more advanced Wi-Max technology, Mr J. Shivkumar, Chief Technology Officer, Zylog Systems India, said most handheld devices such as mobiles, laptops and notebooks were only Wi5-enabled.
In terms of cost, coverage and capacity ‘Wi5’ was competitive, while the Wi-Max technology was expensive. The newly launched ‘Wi5’ retail packages are available at 1 mbps, 2 mbps and 4 mbps at Rs 550, Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,750.
Related stories at
Excerpt from the above
Ramanujam Sesharathnam, managing director and chief operating officer, Zylog Systems, said, “We are delighted to launch Wi5 services in Chennai, as it is a city with high laptop and mobile internet population, familiarity with working online is implausible. Due to Wi5′s inherent technological superiority, the speed will be many times faster than conventional broadband and offers a minimum data speeds of 1 mbps.”
Zylog’s Wi5 services works by creating a Wi5 mesh network, which is done by setting up intelligent Wi-Fi nodes on roof tops in select buildings across the city, making the area a Wi5 zone. The company offers a pre-paid connection to its customers and to access the Wi5 services, users need a Wi-Fi enabled laptop personal computer or a mobile device or a separate Wi-Fi card. Called as the ‘metro wi-fi’, Zylog’s wi-fi model will work like the mobile telephony network.
Zylog Systems has also implemented Wi-Fi in Ripon Building (Chennai Corporation) and a trial run is in progress.
Posted in eGovernance, Internet, Mergers | Tagged: Broadband, egovernance, Investment, Ramanujam Sesharathnam, revenue, Wi5, WiMAX, Wireless, Zylog | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 11, 2009
Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow June 11, 2009, 0:56 IST on The Business Standard
Public sector telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will invest Rs 15,000 crore this fiscal to upgrade its infrastructure and roll out new value-added services.
“Our capital expenditure in different verticals this year would be around Rs 15,000 crore,” BSNL CMD Kuldeep Goyal told Business Standard.
BSNL will use the investment for mobile expansion and for services like 3G, broadband, wireless broadband, IPTV, WiMAX, mobile commerce (m-commerce), value-added landline, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and others.
“Our aim is to add 35 million telephone lines by the end of this fiscal across the country and to commission fresh 3G network,” he added.
BSNL had launched 3G services on February 2 and, at present, it is available in 70 towns. “We plan to provide 3G services in 700 cities by the end of calendar 2009,” Goyal said.
He added that, for achieving the targeted mobile growth, more spectrum was needed by operators.
“The availability of spectrum for mobile phone operators in general is less than other countries. However, this has not affected the quality of services being offered,” he claimed.
“We will offer wireless broadband through WiMAX technology in 1,000 blocks of the country out of the total 6,000 blocks. The state-run telecom operator will roll out franchisee-based WiMAX service in the country, starting with Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
“We have floated tenders for offering similar a WiMAX service in other states as well,” he said. “We are also working on improving our quality of service and have engaged AC Nielson to test the quality of our mobile service,” Goyal added.
Posted in BSNL | Tagged: 3G, Broadband, BSNL, Infrastructure, Investment, IPTV, Kuldeep Goyal, Mcommerce, QoS, Spectrum, VAS, WiMAX, Wireless | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 11, 2009
Thomas K. Thomas on The Hindu Business Line on June 11, 2009
New Delhi, June 10 The Communications Ministry is likely to reject the recommendations made by the Spectrum Committee to auction spectrum for GSM-based cellular services and favour maintaining status quo on the existing subscriber-based allocation criteria.
The Ministry is also not for capping start-up spectrum for new players at 4.4 Mhz, as proposed by the panel set up by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The panel, headed by the Additional Secretary, Mr Subodh Kumar, had suggested sweeping changes in the spectrum allocation policy including scrapping the existing subscriber base criteria.
Highly placed officials in the Ministry of Communications told Business Line, “While we are in favour of auctioning 3G and WiMax spectrum as soon as possible, radio frequency for 2G mobile service cannot be auctioned as it is illegal. It is unfair to ask new players to take part in an auction when some of the existing players have got spectrum based on the subscriber criteria,” the official said.
Pay for addition
However, the Ministry is likely to price additional spectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz derived from the fee paid by operators during the fourth cellular bidding process. “We are considering a formula whereby operators with more than 6.2 Mhz will have to pay a one-time fee derived from the amount paid by the fourth cellular operator for the 4.4 Mhz,” the official said.
If this formula is accepted then existing players such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone will have to pay at least Rs 375 crore for each unit of spectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz.
The Ministry will take a final view on these proposals after consulting the telecom regulator. The spectrum panel had suggested freezing all allocation of spectrum at current levels. It had suggested that spectrum should be auctioned and existing players should pay a one-time fee based on the amount collected during the auction for third generation mobile services.
Related story at
Posted in Spectrum | Tagged: 2G, 3G, Airtel, Bharti, communications ministry, DoT, Spectrum, Subodh Kumar, Vodafone, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 9, 2009
Thomas K Thomas on The Hindu Business Line
New Delhi, June 8 Chinese telecom vendor Huawei may be one of the interested bidders for picking up stake in the factories owned by State-run Indian Telephone Industries Ltd. Huawei told Business Line that it was open to discussing opportunities for strengthening relationship with the Indian manufacturing company for whom the Department of Telecom will invite bids from strategic partners.
When contacted, a Huawei India spokesperson did not rule out the possibility of acquiring ITI. “Huawei India already has a strong and successful tie-up with ITI for transmission network for the Indian market, and is open to further discussion for more collaboration with business partners and governments in developing the local telecom industry, including local manufacturing in India. The specific plan is yet to be finalised by our parent company,” the spokesperson said.
Alcatel Lucent could be the other interested party, but the company is yet to confirm their plans.
Both Huawei and Alcatel Lucent has had a strategic partnership in the past for supplying mobile equipment to BSNL. Both these companies are also strong in the WiMax and IP-based telecom equipment market for which ITI’s existing factories can be used. However, if Huawei does bid for a stake in ITI’s factories it may have to deal with the security concerns raised against Chinese vendors by the Intelligence Bureau.
3 SPVs planned
The Government is proposing to set up three special purpose vehicle companies for divesting stake in three of the six manufacturing plants owned by ITI. The three plants are located in Rae Bareli, Nainital and Bangalore and is involved in producing WiMax modems and optical transmission equipment. DoT plans to invite private players to pick up majority stake in the range of 51 per cent to 74 per cent in each of the three SPVs.
To start off the process, DoT on Monday invited expression of interest from global consultants to act as advisors to the Government. The consultant will be finalised by end of June.
Related stories at
Posted in Equipment Manufacturer, Joint Venture | Tagged: Alcatel-Lucent, BSNL, disinvestment, DoT, Huawei, Investment, ITI, shareholding, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 7, 2009
Manoj Gairola, Hindustan Times on June 7, 2009
After tasting success in domestic markets, it’s ‘Dial Africa’ for Indian telecommunication companies. And it’s not the high-profile, twice-rejected MTN alone that’s attracting Indian firms.
While the government-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) is in advanced discussions for telecom licences in four countries, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is formulating its strategy to enter the continent.
Adding their bit are the Essar group, Tata Communications and Reliance Communications, all of which have licences for telecom services in African countries and are looking to expand their operations.
Bharti Airtel is negotiating with South Africa-based MTN for a “two way deal” that would allow it to own 49 per cent equity in South African giant MTN.
“We are evaluating a proposal to acquire a company that has licences in four to five countries,” said R.S.P. Sinha, chairman and managing director (CMD), MTNL. “Africa is a lucrative market and we would like to acquire a licence through auction if there is an opportunity.” However, in most countries, licences have been auctioned.
“Funding is not an issue for our Africa expansions,” Sinha said. “We have done all the ground work.” MTNL is presently a service provider in partnership with Tata Communications (formerly VSNL) and Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL). “We will enter into Africa on our own,” said Sinha.
MTNL not the only government-owned company eyeing the African market. “We are looking at an expansion in Africa,” said Kuldeep Goyal, CMD, BSNL. “Whenever we find right opportunity we will grab it.”
Essar group has acquired a telecom licence in Uganda. “Africa is an important market for Essar’s telecom business and we are working towards building a strong brand in this market,” said Srinivas iyengar, CEO, Essar Telecom Kenya. “We would be looking at opportunities to establish a pan Africa footprint in future.”
The company plans to offer services in a joint venture with a local company, Kenya Telecom Uganda Ltd. It already has a licence in Kenya and plans to expand in other countries.
“We find African markets promising and have recently hiked our stake in Neotel (of South Africa) to 56 per cent from 26 per cent,” a senior Tata Communications official said. “We view this as a beach head to the rest of the African markets as and when right opportunities arise.”
“African countries have just started moving on the development path,” said RK Upadhyay, CMD, TCIL. The company has been executing telecom infrastructure projects in Africa for past 20 years and is present in 30 countries. “There is expected to be enormous growth in telecommunications in next five years. Whenever, development takes place in a developing economy, the need for telecom services increases,” Upadhyay said.
“Africa has a low teledensity and high average revenue per user,” said Goyal. This explains why Indian providers want to go to. India has a teledensity (number of telephones for a population of 100) of about 40 per cent. In many African countries the teledensity is below 20 per cent (See table).
Besides, the continent’s average revenue per user is high. Against Rs 250 per month in India, the number in some African countries including is about three times as much.
Reliance has a licence in Uganda for offering mobile, fixed line, Internet, national and international long distance services, in addition to WiMax and Wifi services. It plans to acquire licences in other countries, a senior official said.
Posted in Joint Venture, Mergers | Tagged: "Fixed line", Africa, Airtel, ARPU, Bharti, BSNL, Essar, Internet, Kuldeep Goyal, license, Merger, MTN, MTNL, NeoTel, R S P Sinha, Reliance, Srinivas Iyengar, Tata, TCIL, teledensity, Vodafone, VSNL, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 6, 2009
6 Jun 2009, 0056 hrs IST, Joji Thomas Philip, ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: State-owned BSNL on Friday issued fresh tenders to run its WiMax operations, even as it tightened the eligibility criteria and introduced a slew of additional safe-guards in the wake of the telco being forced to abort its previous tender in light of dubious operators making it to the final shortlist.
“We have issued fresh tenders for companies to run our WiMax services across 16 circles on a revenue share franchisee basis. This time around, only original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators can bid. We are confident that shell or paper companies will not be eligible to bid,” BSNL’s chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal told ET.
According to Mr Goyal, the telco was looking at global OEMs, such as Ericsson and Cisco, to bid for its WiMax tenders. The logic: OEMs have the technical capabilities to launch and operate such networks especially since they manufacture the same. “We are also looking at system integrators, such as IT companies, to run the operations. All bidders must have a minimum turnover of Rs 100 crore each for the last two years,” Mr Goyal added. In fact, the tender documents will be issued only after proof of turnover is shown.
ET had first reported on June 3 that BSNL would seek fresh bids for franchisees across the country to roll out technology that allows users the wireless access to high-speed internet and other data applications over a large area. BSNL expects WiMax to generate multi-billion dollar revenues over the next 10 years.
The telco had cancelled the earlier tender after its own investigations revealed that five of the six shortlisted companies — WiExpert Communications, SV Telecom Systems, Digitelco Communications, Spectrus Communications and Technotial Infoways — were acting as ‘fronts’ for certain individuals. It was found that these companies shared the same corporate details, notaries, auditors and dates of incorporation, and even their last annual general body meeting was shown to be held on the same day. BSNL had also come under pressure from its labour unions to scrap the tender following reports of wide-scale corruption in the methodologies adopted to shortlist successful bidders.
Companies, which want to participate in the new tender, have been given a deadline till August 4, 2009, to submit their bids. A host of companies, which were mysteriously disqualified from the earlier tender, are expected to place fresh bids — these include Soma Networks, Cisco-backed Terracom, Unwire India and Welcomm Communications, which has a tie-up Huawei and Aricent.
BSNL already has a tie-up with US-headquartered Soma Networks, which runs WiMax services for the PSU in the circles of Gujarat, Maharashtra (including Goa) and Andhra Pradesh. The deal with Soma has also raised concerns considering that BSNL had appointed this franchisee without going through a bidding process.
Besides, the WiMax forum has also pointed out that Soma Networks was deploying mobile WiMax in FDD format, a technology standard that is not recognised by the forum globally.
Posted in BSNL, Equipment Manufacturer, Government, Outsourcing | Tagged: BSNL, Cisco, Digitelco, Ericsson, Huawei, Kuldeep Goyal, outsourcing, revenue, Soma Networks, Spectrus, SV Telecom, Technotial Infoways, Terracom, Unwire India, Welcomm, WiExpert, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 6, 2009
Thomas K Thomas on The Hindu Business Line on June 6, 2009
New Delhi, June 5 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd on Friday invited bids afresh from private players to roll out WiMax services on a franchisee basis.
The PSU floated a new tender after it scrapped the earlier one to rope in a strategic partner.
The earlier tender ran into rough weather after it was discovered that five of the six bidders shortlisted by the PSU existed only on paper. The five companies had identical corporate information including contact address, contact person, e-mail id, and lawyer.
BSNL’s technical committee had disqualified global companies including Cisco and Soma Networks even as it chose to keep the bids of the five firms.
Political parties, including the BJP, had alleged corruption at the highest level. The issue had also caught the attention of the Prime Minister’s Office.
BSNL has now invited bids in 16 circles giving another opportunity to the international companies. The tender documents will be available from June 12. The technical bids will be opened on August 4. Companies with a turnover of over Rs 100 crore for two consecutive financial years can apply. The franchisee company will have to invest in setting up the WiMax network. The company offering the highest revenue share to BSNL will be selected.
BSNL had earlier selected Soma Network on a pilot basis for Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Therefore there will be no competitive bidding in these three circles. The PSU is also in the process of issuing another tender for buying 7000 WiMax base stations to set up community service centres in the rural areas.
The State-owned company is increasingly adopting the franchisee model to reduce costs. It is already offering IPTV services with HFCL on revenue-sharing basis. The PSU has invited bids from private players to set up Internet Data Centres (IDC) in various parts of the country on a revenue share basis.
The centres are expected to be set up over the next six months after which the PSU will go after outsourcing contracts for services such as web hosting, co-location, data warehousing and Internet managed services.
Posted in BSNL, Data Center, Managed Services | Tagged: BSNL, HFCL, IDC, IPTV, PMO, Soma Networks, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 4, 2009
From The Hindu Business Line by Thomas K Thomas on June 04, 2009
New Delhi, June 3 To boost its plans to roll out WiMax-enabled broadband services in the rural areas, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd will shortly launch a Rs 1,500-crore project to buy 7,000 WiMax base stations to set up Common Service Centres (CSC) across the country.
The tender document for this project is being prepared and BSNL will invite Expression of Interest from equipment manufacturers to supply WiMax gear.
This comes even as BSNL scrapped another tender for appointing franchisees for rolling out WiMax-based broadband services across the country. This project had run into controversy after it came out that five of the six short-listed bidders had similar corporate details, including contact e-mail, address, lawyers and auditors. BSNL will float a new tender for appointing franchisees.
The PSU plans to roll out WiMax in three phases. Phase One will set up the broadband infrastructure in the rural areas. A part of this project has already been given to the Chinese vendor Huawei and a relatively unknown entity from Tamil Nadu, Gemini. The two vendors are to set up 1,000 base stations to connect an equal number of remote blocks. The new tender for another 7,000 base stations will be floated in a week.
In the second phase, BSNL plans to roll out broadband infrastructure in the urban areas. While Huawei has been selected for rolling out services in Punjab, Telsima has emerged the lowest bidder in Kerala. The PSU is expected to award the contracts to these vendors shortly. Tender for other circles will be floated later.
The third project was on a franchisee model which has now got scrapped.
Only Two operators
BSNL and MTNL are the only two operators to have got the spectrum for rolling out WiMax broadband services.
However, neither has been able to get going on the WiMax project though each has launched third generation mobile services. Cancelling the franchisee tender will only delay further the broadband services roll out.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: BSNL, Common Service Center, Huawei, MTNL, Telsima, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 4, 2009
From The Hindu Business Line on Thursday, Jun 04, 2009
Hyderabad, June 3 Patni Computers is gearing up to take advantage of the potential demand for next generation telecom technologies such as fixed-mobile convergence and long-term evolution (LTE).
“From a user perspective, the next big things in telecom technology are integration of one’s mobile phone and fixed lines and LTEs,” Mr Siddhartha Kataki, Associate Vice-President told Business Line here.
In simpler terms, fixed-mobile convergence will ensure continuous access to a person through his phone. LTE is the latest standard in mobile technology aimed at enriching user experience in areas such as multi-media online gaming and streaming of content.
“Just imagine your mobile device with up to 50 MBPS speed. You can uplink any content very easily,” Mr Kataki said.
This is the speed akin to what is available in an ordinary personal computer.
When asked on the R&D progress at Patni in this regard, he said: “We know the underlying IT space and are pretty much gearing up to the market needs.”
The Hyderabad facility of Patni with over 1,200 professionals is supporting global customers. “A major part of mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) framework is developed by us. We can ensure that MVNOs can launch their operations in just 60 days,” he said.
On the impact of recession on IT space in telecom, he said Patni had not yet seen any negative impact.
“The customer in India is both data-hungry and voice-hungry. There is a huge demand for bandwidth augmentation. 3G, Wi-Max and other rich-media content delivery devices will be in great demand,” he added.
Vernacular versions of electronic communications would lead to social calibrations and thus drive growth in market, Mr Kataki observed.
“On every rupee spent in telecom, 30 per cent goes to IT sector. With 6-7 per cent gross domestic product growth, the opportunity in India will be huge notwithstanding global recession,” he added.
The company also plans to hire over 120 this year at the Hyderabad facility, he added.
Posted in Before 11 June 2009 | Tagged: 3G, Content, convergence, LTE, MVNO, Patni, revenue, Siddhartha Kataki, VAS, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 3, 2009
3 Jun 2009, 0223 hrs IST, Joji Thomas Philip, ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: India’s largest telecom firm BSNL will invite fresh tenders to run its WiMax operations
, after the previous attempt was aborted in light of dubious operators making it to the final shortlist. The state-run firm will now seek fresh bids for franchisees across the country to roll out technology that allows users wireless access to high-speed internet and other data applications
over a large area, according to two top executives of the company. BSNL expects WiMax to generate multi-billion dollar revenues over the next 10 years.
ET had reported on February 20 that a string of ‘shell’ companies that exist only on paper had made it to BSNL shortlist for WiMax.
The telco subsequently cancelled the tender after its own investigations revealed that five of the six shortlisted companies — WiExpert Communications, SV Telecom Systems, Digitelco Communications,
Spectrus Communications and Technotial Infoways — were acting as ‘fronts’ for certain individuals.
It was found that these companies shared the same corporate details, notaries, auditors and dates of incorporation, and even their last annual general body meeting was shown to be held on the same day.
BSNL came under pressure from its labour unions to scrap the tender following reports of wide-scale corruption in the methodologies adopted to shortlist successful bidders. Doubts were also raised on the disqualification of several companies with proven track record of offering WiMax services including Soma Networks, Cisco-backed Terracom, Unwire India and Welcomm Communications — it had a tie-up Huawei and Aricent — in the earlier shortlist.
This has strengthened the allegations of a possible scandal especially since BSNL had failed to provide valid reasons for the disqualification. During the recent election campaign, opposition BJP had alleged that five of the six shortlisted companies were promoted by telecom minister A Raja’s confidant Sanjay Kapoor and had sought a CBI probe into the issue.
“BJP demands that allotment of BSNL’s WiMax franchise should be suspended immediately and the telecom minister be sacked as reports suggest wholesale loot and corruption in the process,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar had said during a press conference
in Delhi on May 6.
Earlier this year, the WiMAX Forum, an industry association that has more than 530 member companies globally and 50 members in India had warned BSNL that companies existing only on paper are exploiting lax eligibility criteria for bids invited by the telco for franchisee operators for its WiMax services.
The Forum had also alleged that these newly floated front companies have approached global majors to buy them out quoting BSNL’s spectrum and network assets as valuation criteria. “This is a result of the lax eligibility conditions in the tender which these paper companies are exploiting,” the association had said.
Posted in Spectrum | Tagged: A Raja, Aricent, BSNL, Cisco, Digitelco, Government, Huawei, Soma Networks, Spectrus, SV Telecom, Technotial Infoways, Terracom, Unwire India, Welcomm, WiExpert, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »