The state-owned telecom major BSNL today became the first company in the country to start wireless broadband services and announced a tariff starting with Rs 140 per month for rural areas.
BSNL wireless broadband services, using WiMAX technology, was launched by Minister of State Sachin Pilot from his constituency Ajmer today. The service was launched at a function in Pisangan Telephone Exchange in Ajmer district.
“This unique technology has been deployed for the first time in our country. Through this BSNL will usher in a new era of growth in rural areas. This technology offers broadband speed of 7 Mbps at a distance of 15kms,” said Pilot.
The high speed wireless broadband connectivity will offer video conferencing, enabling tele-medicine and tele-education, besides providing other services like payment of utility bills, issue of birth certificates, land records, vehicle registration etc.
The minister further said this project will be associated with all the ‘common service centres’ in rural areas, which are associated with e-Governance projects started by the state governments.
In the first phase, BSNL would cover 1000 block headquarters across the country and the remaining block headquarters be connected through 50,000 common service centres in next phase.
The rural common service centres are part of the Bharat Nirman Programme of the UPA government.
The minister said 9,000 villages would be linked to the WiMax in first phase covering Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana.
Speaking on the occasion, BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal highlighted the fact that the WiMax services will be cheaper to broadband users.
BSNL has tied up with the global chip maker Intel to provide embedded chips to provide equipments at affordable prices.
This project is supported by the Department of Information Technology of the Central Government to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas. It would also help in increase the rural tele-density and also will bring rural areas to the broadband map of the world.