The State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Saturday rolled out India’s first commercial urban mobile WiMax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) network in Ernakulam.

The launch of WiMax, which provides for high-speed wireless Internet access, was done by Union Minister of State for Agriculture K.V. Thomas at a function held here. City Mayor Mercy Williams, who presided over the function, conducted the first sale.

While the technology is provided by Aviat networks, WiMax based solution is set up and deployed like cellular systems using base stations with coverage over several kilometres. BSNL plans to put up 900 such base transceiver stations (BTS) in two phases for blanket WiMax coverage along the length and breadth of the State. The first phase, with 450 BTS, will cover all major cities, district headquarters and prominent towns. With Saturday’s launch, 25 BTS will now enable WiMax coverage in Ernakulam city, Tripunithura,

Kalamassery, Aluva and Angamaly municipalities. Fifty-nine more BTS will be set up in Ernakulam and Idukki districts in the second phase next year extending the coverage to panchayat areas as well.

A customer premise equipment (CPE), available on rent or for purchase, will connect the base station to the customer. The subscriber units are available in indoor and outdoor versions while a USB dongle-type CPE is available for use with laptops. BSNL, Kerala, is initially offering two unlimited tariff plans, with bandwidth ranging from 512 kbps to 2 mbps: a Home Plan with a fixed monthly charge of Rs. 999 and a Business Plan with a fixed monthly charge of Rs. 1999.

Additionally, if the CPE is provided by BSNL, customers will have to pay a monthly rent of Rs. 40 for indoor and outdoor CPEs and Rs. 30 for USB dongle. The CPE can also be bought by paying Rs. 4,200 for indoor CPE, Rs. 5,000 for outdoor CPE and Rs. 2,800 for USB dongle.

Charles Dias, MP; Dominic Presentation, MLA; BSNL Principal General Manager EM Abraham; and BSNL General Manager (Operations) N. Hari Babu spoke at the function.

Keywords: BSNLWiMAXKeralaK.V. Thomas