Staff Reporter

It will help access Internet anywhere in the city: Aircel

BANGALORE: Bangalore has joined the elite club of cities enjoying high-speed wireless Internet services, popularly called WiMAX.

Aircel Business Solutions (ABS) on Thursday launched the WiMAX service in the city. Base stations (towers) have been set up at Electronics City, Airport Road, St. John's Road, Jayanagar, Rajajinagar and Koramangala, each covering a radius of 5 km to 6 km. More will come up shortly, said Ram Shinde, Business Head, ABS, part of Chennai-based Aircel.

ABS would also create Wi-Fi (wireless internet) hotspots in the city where Internet services would be available through the use of pre-paid cards. Online registration would also be possible, Mr. Shinde said.

Those opting for WiMAX would be able to access the Internet anywhere in the city, he said.

Initially, WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) will be made available to big corporates and small and medium enterprises at a cost of Rs. 20 lakh.

Individuals will, however, have to wait three months for WiMAX because the modem required for the connection is not readily available, and has to be imported. Aircel is mass-producing the modems and will supply it free of cost in three months. Imported modems known as customer premises equipment (CPE) cost $ 400 (Rs. 18,000).

The payment for WiMAX will be on a monthly basis, and there will be the option of using pre-paid cards. It will eventually cover Mangalore, Mysore and Belgaum.

Mr. Shinde said the charges would be on a par with those offered by BSNL, which was now offering up to 2 mbps connectivity at Rs. 250 a month. "Who will buy WiMAX if the prices are higher than that?" he asked.

26 more cities including Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Cochin and Ahmedabad will get WiMAX. It is more efficient in preventing virus attacks. Connections would be given within 48 hours after applications were submitted, he said.