RealTime IT News

Wipro-KPN To Launch Web Services Next Month

Wipro Net, a joint venture between India's IT giant Wipro Limited and the $8-billion Royal Dutch Telecom (KPN), is planning to launch Web access, hosting, secure virtual private network services and other Internet-related services by next month.

Wipro Net intends to publicly divest a part of its equity within three years. Wipro would control the majority stake of the JV while the remaining will be with KPN. The current management structure of Wipro Net will be augmented with functional experts from KPN.

"The formation of this joint venture with KPN will bring in contemporary IP service knowledge, peering arrangements and Internet experience into Wipro Net. The synergetic benefits of a global telecom service provider and a reputed IT company will accrue to Indian customers," said Azim H Premji, chairman, Wipro Corp.

"With its established leadership in the business segment, Wipro Net is now well placed to achieve its goal of emerging as the leading internet-based communications services in India," he pointed out. Azim was named in Forbes magazine as the world's richest Indian with an estimated personal wealth of $2.8 billion.

All services being offered by Wipro Net such as e-mail, intranet, extranet and enhanced fax services will be branded under Wipro name. At present it serves over 800 corporate customers under national ISP license. Wipro Net will have connectivity to KPN's international Internet Protocol (IP) network to ensure quality of service to customers.

"KPN's involvement in Wipro Net in line with our international strategy of offering global connections and a wide range of innovative services." said Van Moorsel, chief executive officer, KPN Asia pacific. "Wipro Net will provide us a platform to offer IP-based convergent services in India and when the regulatory situation opens up."

Wipro Net currently manages a nationwide network through communication hubs in eight major Indian cities. By next month, it hopes to launch Web access, host and secure virtual private networks services, and services such as managed fire-wall, global roaming and outsourced private networks.

Subsequently, Wipro Net will enter the home market where it will leverage KPN's expertise in the segment.

Meanwhile, Wipro Limited aims to double its software sales in three years and is banking on electronic commerce as a major growth engine, said Vivek Paul, group vice-chairman.

"We are aiming to offer a wide range of services that help business-to-business e-commerce as that is where our strength lies," he added.

Bangalore-based Wipro is a global provider of software services to Fortune 500 companies. The large publicly traded IT company is part of the $550 million Wipro Corp. which enjoys a market capitalization of $4 billion.