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
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
The company has tied up with Singapore Telecom for satellite bandwidth for
India, and is negotiating with other satellite companies for projects in
other parts of the world.
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.