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HFCL Infotel to launch consumer VoIP offering

MUMBAI: HFCL Infotel Ltd. (HITL), the private telephony operator in Punjab, is launching niche consumer Voice over IP (VoIP) service in the country. The company has associated with the US-based Vistula Communications Services for the initiative.

According to an official statement, HITL is expecting to launch the Vistula-enabled VoIP service in Q1 2006. The system will be fully hosted and managed by Vistulaa, a global supplier of flexible and reliable services to major telecommunications carriers, cable operators and Internet Service Providers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vistula will integrate its V-Cube(TM) VoIP platform with HITL's network, giving HITL a turn-key consumer VoIP service to market to retail and business clients. Additionally Vistula will be providing HITL with a pre-paid calling card solution which will give customers the ability to easily pay for international calls from virtually any computer terminal. The cards will be available at various retail outlets across Punjab initially and subsequently to other markets across India, the release adds.

"The combination of Vistula's proven success in the VoIP industry, the fact that we can expect to launch the service within weeks of signing the contract and the calling card solution, which we believe has a great potential in India, were the most exciting propositions for us in choosing Vistula," said HITL chairman Mahendra Nahata . "With Vistula's help we'll be able to bring the first niche VoIP service of its kind to India that will certainly attract customers both domestically and internationally. We are confident of an excellent customer response to this service which will be initially marketed to more than 300,000 of HITL's already large subscriber base in Punjab."

Vistula's V-Cube(TM) based system will provide HITL with a customer web portal, soft-phone downloads and full VoIP on-net and off-net capabilities. In addition, V-Cube's new billing capabilities will also integrate seamlessly with HITL's existing billing platforms. Vistula will be building and managing the system for HITL as well as providing them with round the clock support.

"India's VoIP market is valued at nearly $2.8 billion, and by fully leveraging our V-Cube(TM) platform, HITL will be well positioned to capture a sizeable chunk of this underserved market," Vistula Communications chairman and CEO Rupert Galliers-Pratt said. "This project with HITL is the latest in a string of major global deals and effectively supports our position as one of the leading suppliers of VoIP services and solutions to major carriers and Internet Service Providers around the world."

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