Indian Telco Heavyweight BPL to Cast its Net

India’s telecom major BPL Telecom Business Group is all set to launch its ISP services in a month’s time.

In an exclusive interview with asia.internet.com, the high profile, young chairman of BPL Telecom, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said that the ISP service would be launched in 11 cities through three gateways in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.

The BPL Telecom, the largest cellular operator in the country in terms of
subscriber base, would be using its existing broadband infrastructure to
ensure high and speedy quality of data transfer.


“With the largest
cellular backbone in the country encompassing 5,000 km, BPL can leverage it
to provide the killer application which will ensure the convergence between
telecom and datacomm,” Chandrasekhar said.

The company, christened as BPLNet.com, is expected to take a
lead role in convergence in India. Given its lead position in electronics
and telecom, this is a possible task for the BPL Group, felt analysts in
India. BPL Telecom is a part of $1.1 billion BPL Group in India.

Rajeev says that Internet appliances like the Net set and home PCs are on
his list of priority. The Internet appliances products would bear the names net.set, net.tv, net.pc and MP3 players. The Internet services
will have a brand name OYEINDIA.

“While addressing areas like Web content, design and development services,
the company will be building upon its domain knowledge in telecom services
and products,” said Chandrasekhar.

BPL also operates the largest wireless
franchise in the country and has been manufacturing telecom products such
as EPABX, PBT for many years.

“We address the customer need to enable their existing application software
to effectively leverage the Internet. Our competencies are in
interfacing/integration of existing software applications to the Web,” said
Chandrasekhar, who previously worked at Intel for six years and was CPU architect in the Pentium team.

“We are also in the process of providing e-commerce solutions that will
represent end-to-end business solutions that will integrate the customer’s
existing information systems infrastructure to the e-commerce processes,” he
added.

BPLNet.com will also offer content and design solutions to the Internet
market, according to Chandrasekhar. The Web services team is divided into 2 groups, according to Chandrasekhar: one will focus on the
portals that BPL is launching. These include a lifestyle portal, focusing preliminary on
the youth, and a business portal providing business related services to the browser. This would include a business-to-business portal, stock related
information, business analysis and so on.

The second group focuses on the Web design for corporations. The focus is on
building smarter sites that would foster communities for the companies.

“Our focus will be increasingly in the area of convergence technologies
which will drive market growth in the future. We are quietly placed to
address this market,” Rajeev says.

A 15-acre campus, code named Innovision, is being readied on the outskirts of Bangalore to take care of BPLNET and IT-solutions.

To leverage the global opportunities in software development and Internet
solutions, a subsidiary, BPL systems in Atlanta, has been set up in the US.
The company also proposes to expand our operations to Europe and Japan
shortly with a hub to be set up either in Amsterdam or London.

The total assets of the BPL Telecom business alone exceeds
US$670 million and with about 2500 employees, manufactures a range of
telecom systems and IT products and solutions, has a state of the art
design and development facility and provides cellular and paging services
in the most prosperous regions in India.

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