Television

RailTel target retail market through branded cyber cafes

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NEW DELHI: RailTel Corporation of India Ltd., which has laid 23,00 kms of fibre optics in the country, has now set its eyes on targeting the retail market through branded cyber cafes as also enhance its capacity for corporate clients like Internet service providers (ISPs).

Speaking to indiantelevision.com on the sidelines of the ongoing Convergence India 2004, organized by the Exhibitions India Pvt. Ltd., RailTel Corps deputy general manager (networks and marketing) Shailesh K Tiwari said, We began operation almost two years back, but now the time has come to go all out to woo customers with new products and enhanced services like offering high-speed 2.5 gigabyte bandwidth.

According to Tiwari, RailTel is also looking at launching branded cyber cafes in metros and bigger cities on lines those operated by Sify.

During the financial year 2004-05, we plan to have between 250-300 cyber cafes to be marketed under the brand name of CyberExpress,Tiwari explained, adding these cyber cafes would not only offer Internet browsing, but also facilities like video conferencing and Internet telephony over a period of time.

RailTels fibre optic network facilitates connectivity between metros and major cities like Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Pune and Chennai-Secundrabad via Vijaywada and via Renigunta. By the end of 2004, this network is likely to cover 37,000 km and about 400 cities across the country.

There are other big telecom companies, which have also wired up the country with their fibre optics network. So, whats the advantage for RailTel? The USP of RailTel is that because its part of the Indian Railways, which has seamless right of way along 62,800 km of railway tracks assigned through 7,000 stations in the country, RailTel can actually reach places where others may not be able to set up their infrastructure.

RailTel is also in the process of inviting cellular operators to use railways microwave towers and use OFC bandwidth for providing continuous coverage by the trackside to enable traveling public to have the benefit of mobile communication and Internet facilities while on the move. Similar encouragement is being given to basic telephony service providers to use the bandwidth for connecting remote places and areas.

Under the terms of agreements, RailTel has been offered the way leave facility for a period of 30 years on a fixed charge of three per cent and revenue sharing at four per cent payable after a moratorium of five years.

 

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