Tata Communications, formerly Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), has joined hands with California-headquartered Telsima Corporation to roll out WiMAX services. This will be for Tata Communications’ broadband wireless network in India. The project will entail an investment of $500 million (Rs 2,000 crore) over the next 2-3 years.According to Prateek Pashine, Vice President (Planning), Broadband and Retail Business), Tata Communications, the first retail network for the service, was deployed in Bangalore. “We are looking to capture 200,000 customers in the retail segment over the next one year,” he says. The service will be offered to both retail and enterprise customers. The plan is to roll out WiMAX in 110 cities for the enterprise segment and 15 cities for retail by the end of this year. “Broadband has not taken off the way it should have and we think there is a huge potential in the market for this. Our objective will be to provide stateof-the-art broadband services,” says Pashine. It is estimated that India has just 3.1 million broadband customers.
Tata Communications’ partner, Telsima, is a large player globally in the WiMAX space and has supplied base stations and modems to operators in India, Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa during the course of 2007. “The focus will be on understanding the requirements of the customer and we think broadband will be a decade-long story in India,” says Telsima CEO Alok Sharma. Tata Communications claims to be the first company to launch broadband services on the WiMAX platform on such a large scale for retail customers in India.