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INTEL LAUNCHES ePCO INITIATIVE IN CHANDIGARH TO ACCELERATE BROADBAND PENETRATION

ePCO is a collaborative effort from Intel, BSNL, PCO Association and ItzCash

Chandigarh, March 19, 2009 – Intel in partnership with BSNL, PCO Association and ItzCash today launched a very innovative ePCO initiative in Chandigarh. ePCO is a collaborative effort among the above mentioned partners. The ePCOs aim to drive self-employment, bridge the digital divide and increase IT adoption in semi-urban and rural areas.

“The ePCO is an excellent step in making technology more affordable and accessible to a much larger number of people in India. We have around 200 ePCO’s operational pan India and have rolled out the programme in 6 states till date. This initiative is in line with Intel’s objectives in bringing together industry support in accelerating broadband connectivity in the country that can act as an economic growth driver. Intel is thankful to all the partners who are coming together to drive this wonderful initiative” said Mr. John E. Davies, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group & General Manager, Intel World Ahead Program.

According to Mr. Rajendra S. V., President, PCO Association , “PCOs have become extremely popular and have succeeded in taking telecommunication to the rural areas already. Leveraging on the existing market penetration, this will be a great opportunity to take broadband to rural India. The ePCOs offer a good revenue model.”

Services Offered by ePCOs
The ePCOs through this program will be able to offer multiple online services to citizens.
Some of these are:

  • Railway, Airline & Bus ticket booking
  • Utility Bill payments (Electricity, Water, Telephone)
  • Mobile recharges
  • Chat and Internet browsing facility
  • Insurance and Banking
  • College admission forms
  • Other online transactions: Cinemas tickets, DTH TV subscriptions, Astrology, Matrimonial, Shopping etc.
  • Video Communication facilities

Program Partners

Intel

Intel is the motivator and the facilitator of this initiative by helping the partners to structure the ePCO initiative and provide support to scale the program across the country.

All India PCO Owners Association

The All India PCO Association is playing a critical role in identifying the right PCO operators and is also facilitating the roll out of the initiative, creating awareness as well as providing training to those involved.

BSNL

BSNL will support the initiative through its large network of PCOs and also by enabling Broadband connectivity for the ePCOs.

According to Shri. P.K. Paliwal, CGM, BSNL, Punjab Circle, “This is a great initiative. We are extending broadband connections to the existing PCOs to provide them with an alternative revenue option. This initiative will allow the PCO to offer a host of services to its neighboring locality such as railway ticketing, bus ticketing, flight ticketing etc. Apart from that, facilities like internet browsing, checking emails, chatting etc will also enable the PCO operator to earn more revenue in addition to the normal PCO voice calls”.

ItzCash

ItzCash is a multipurpose prepaid card and will be the backbone of all internet related services offered by the ePCOs. The franchisee will also get a certain percentage on each transaction completed through the ItzCash cards.

“ItzCash has a complete business model to support ePCOs. ItzCash provides a wide range of services which fulfill the end customers' requirement, by its franchisees, enabling the franchisees and PCO owner to earn revenue in the process,” said Sudhakar K., VP – Sales & Distribution, ItzCash Card Ltd.

About Intel

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live.

In August 2008, Intel facilitated a collaborative movement called ‘Connected Indian’ , where government, industry associations and private enterprise came together for the common cause of connecting a billion Indians.

Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom .

About BSNL

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. is World's 7th largest Telecommunications Company providing comprehensive range of telecom services in India: Wireline, CDMA mobile, GSM Mobile, Internet, Broadband, Carrier service, MPLS-VPN, VSAT, VoIP services, IN Services etc. Additional information about BSNL is available at http://www.bsnl.co.in/about.htm.

About ItzCash

ItzCash, a multi-purpose pre-paid card, is a smart option for all, the safest online and on-mobile transaction instrument that allows you to be in control of your spends. It is a full usage product, without hidden costs, is transferable and empowers you to do transactions anytime-anywhere.

About All India PCO Association

The PCO Association has been working with numerous groups including educated, unemployed and self-employed, for the upliftment of the PCO segment in the telecom industry. Today, the association in each state has affiliations with Telecom District Subscriber association, Pay phone welfare association (all India), PCO Owners & Dealers association, and International Communication Council, for developing the PCOs through technology, services and welfare. The association’s objective is to elevate the PCO segment with the latest technology, develop and increase the revenue of the PCO business and bring security to the members’ livelihood.

Intel is a trademark of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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