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BSNL, HCL and Intel Accelerate Broadband Wireless Internet Proliferation in Rural India

BSNL and Intel Start WiMAX Acceleration Program

  • BSNL and Intel to jointly propagate wireless broadband Internet to build nationwide rural WiMAX network
  • HCL- and Intel-designed WiMAX-capable nettops to be available in coming months
 

NEW DELHI, Oct. 27, 2009 In support of the Indian Government's Bharat Nirman rural development agenda, BSNL, HCL and Intel Corporation today announced a series of wide-reaching initiatives to spur economic and educational opportunities in India by expanding access to wireless broadband Internet and affordable computers.

Intel and BSNL will jointly propagate wireless broadband Internet in what is intended to ultimately become a nationwide mobile WiMAX network. BSNL also will work with Intel and HCL to make available in India's rural regions WiMAX-capable nettop computers designed by the two companies and made in India by HCL using the Intel® Atom™ processor.

A memorandum of understanding to start a WiMAX acceleration program was detailed today during a regional visit by Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini.

Lauding the initiatives, Shri Sachin Pilot, Honorable Minister of State for Communication and IT said, "The Internet is the force that will propel India into the next decade. We commend BSNL, HCL and Intel for coming together to accelerate wireless broadband Internet availability in India. This initiative has the potential to connect millions more Indians to 21st century digital opportunity, driving national growth in the process."

"This project is a significant step in making technology more affordable and accessible to create opportunity for many more Indians," said Otellini. "Intel is pleased to work with BSNL and HCL to innovate locally and help accelerate high-speed WiMAX wireless connections and computing across the country."

According to Shri Kuldeep Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL, "Working with Intel for WiMAX market acceleration is a milestone in bringing fast and reliable Internet connectivity to much of India. We are extending mobile WiMAX to millions of people in rural India and, in the process, will bring a whole new meaning to bridging the digital divide in this country. Ultimately our vision is to make WiMAX available across all India. We are pleased to work with Intel to make this a reality."

Shri Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman and CEO, HCL Infosystems Ltd. said, "Growth in India's economy can be accelerated and made more inclusive by providing an impetus to PC and broadband penetration in rural areas. The Intel- and HCL-designed WiMAX-capable nettop is a cornerstone of our strategy for mass adoption of connected PCs, which in turn will have a multiplier effect on the nation's GDP."

Affordable low-cost devices to drive Internet access
The objective of today's agreement is to stimulate economic growth in India by encouraging the spread of mobile WiMAX, a long-range wireless technology, and affordable computing devices. BSNL, India's largest telecom service provider, is committed to deploy over time a mobile WiMAX network based on IEEE 802.16e specifications in the 2.5 GHz frequency band in rural and urban areas. Initial deployments will be in Kerala and Punjab. In tandem, Intel is committing to help manufacturers provide WiMAX-capable nettops, netbooks, notebooks and smartphones for the BSNL network.

Over the next several months BSNL and Intel will begin making available Intel- and HCL-designed WiMAX-capable nettops through BSNL's and HCL's retail outlets, and ultimately through Intel's network of channel partners across India. Intel today showcased a variety of HCL's WiMAX-capable computing devices.