BSNL to Push WiMax to 80,000 Villages

by Sonal Desai    Jan 25, 2007

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has plans to connect 80,000 villages with wireless broadband.

Rajesh Kumar, joint DDG, strategic planning, BSNL informed that the project would be undertaken in phases. The organization has formed a cluster of 1,000 block headquarters, scattered across India, for the first phase. These blocks will cover around 10,000 villages. WiMax installation will provide broadband access to customers within a radius of 25 kilometers.

USO will float tender for this project next month. “We have the infrastructure ready, we will invite bids to procure equipment,” said Kumar. BSNL has a budget of Rs 150 crore for equipment procurement, he added. First phase of the project will be completed in the next two years.

The Union government has already made capital investment in the project. Kumar, however, refused to disclose the amount.

The base will be installed at BSNL towers and the connectivity will be via its national IT network.

Kumar added that WCDMA and WiMax will compliment each other. BSNL may think about merging the two at a later stage, he stated.

BSNL’s project will further boost the Central government’s e-governance agenda. Telemedicine, health care, information on agriculture, distance education are some of the projects among the priority list of the government for e-governance.

It has plans to cover 74,000 villages via WiMax. 20,000 more villages will be covered on the Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL).