India's First Private Gateway Ready
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India's first private gateway was formally inaugurated at Hitech city in Hyderabad recently, marking the end of the monopoly enjoyed so far by Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL).
Installed by InTechNet Ltd, the gateway is the first to be launched by one of the eight private companies that have been permitted by the Department of Telecom (DoT) to set up separate gateways.
According to InTechNet managing director Chandrasekhar Rao, Internet-related services will be launched in two months. Apart from the normal services, the gateway will offer in-house training to generate highly qualified networking professionals.
Rao said the Internet-related services would be launched in two months, and claimed that the Net gateway could avail of any bandwidth with 4MBps uplinking capacity.
InTechNet would offer services in eight Indian cities to begin with, which will expand to 20 cities by the end of this year.
Going by the number of applications (cleared and pending) filed by ISPs with the DoT, over 60 international gateways are on the anvil.
The DoT has so far accorded clearances to gateway applications of nine operators in 30 locations. More gateways are in the pipeline, with applications for around 60 gateways received from 28 companies.
Operators already eligible include Data Access (India) Pvt Ltd, Internet Promoters India Ltd, Sigma Input Output Tech India Ltd, Dishnet Ltd, STPI, Jain Studios Ltd, and InTechNet Ltd, and Direct Internet Ltd.
Companies awaiting clearance from the inter-ministerial committee include Reliance, Mantra Online and Global.
With gateways requiring an average investment of around US$ 1 million per installation, projected investment in such gateways based on median value are estimated to be around US$70 million.