New Delhi: The first rural rollouts of wireless broadband powered by the so-called Wimax protocol could take place before the year-end, a top executive of government-owned phone firm Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, or BSNL, said here on Thursday.
Vision ahead: BSNL plans to install WiMax capabilities in 1,000 blocks out of 6,000, says Kuldeep Goyal, chairman and MD. Photograph: Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
“We are planning on installing WiMax capabilities in 1,000 blocks out of the total 6,000,” said Kuldeep Goyal, BSNL’s chairman and managing director at an industry meet here. “Proof-of-concepts, for which we’re working closely with a number of vendors, are being installed, and will hopefully be completed in the next few months.” A block refers to an administrative grouping of villages, at times around a town
Wimax is short for worldwide inter-operability for microwave access, a standard that is capable of data speeds of 10 megabytes per second up to 2km away from a radio transmitter.
The wireless broadband rollout will bring Internet connectivity to what are called Common Service Centers, or CSCs, computer kiosks equipped to provide e-governance services related to health, education and agricultural information, and designed to provide connectivity to citizens.
Under the plan, nearly 100,000 CSCs, covering 600,000 villages, have been approved at a cost of Rs5,742 crore over four years. Goyal estimates CSCs in 25,000 villages to go live over the next year.