Bharti Recovers Rs 8 Crore Investment In 6 Months

by Julia Fernandes    Aug 26, 2004

Bharti Cellular has successfully deployed Linux on multiple critical applications, under a massive Rs 8 crore IT initiative, managing to break even in a record span of six months flat.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Brij Mohan Mahendru, head switching and NMS, Bharti Telesoft, said, “We have deployed Dynamic Voice Mail — a highly mission critical application developed in-house — for Airtel’s service subscribers. The system not only alerts subscribers of missed calls but also provides compelling voice-enhanced services to enterprise and retail subscribers.”

Explaining the reasons for choosing Linux, Mahendru said, “Linux scored over other operating systems such as Solaris and Windows, by meeting the necessary criteria of performance and cost. In performance, it was able to manage a stringent requirement of 200,000 Busy Hour Call Attempts (BHCA). Although even Solaris could match the same requirements, the significant cost advantage offered by Linux tilted our decision in its favor.”

Providing the breakup in the total investment made, Mahendru stated, “From the total of Rs 8 crore spent, 30% went on IT hardware, 40% was spent on network hardware, 10% on third party software such as Linux and Oracle and 20% on applications.”

The company has purchased Red Hat’s Advanced Server and Red Hat 7.2 workstation for managing its applications. At the technical level, it runs Compaq servers, while the network interfaces have Intel-based hardware. At the database level, Oracle 9i is being used. Speaking about the switching protocols, Mahendru stated that at the network level circuit switching is used, while packet switching does the job between the systems.

So what does Bharti have to say about the legendary stability of Linux?

Answered a pragmatic Mahendru, “Issues such as downtime do crop up in almost all operating systems. The significant aspect is that companies need to make their systems robust and redundant enough. And speaking of our experience it does look like Linux is well on its way of handling real time systems efficiently.”

Bharti Cellular Limited is part of the biggest private integrated telecom conglomerate, Bharti Enterprises. Bharti provides a range of telecom services, which include cellular, Internet and recently introduced National Long Distance. With a presence in 15 states, it caters to more than 7 million customers.

Tags: Bharti