Starting January 2007, broadband subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) will get an upgrade in their connection — speeds will go up from 256 kilobits per second to 2 megabits per second. India’s national telecommunications carrier has no intention to charge more for the service; thus the tariff will remain at 250 rupees (or a little over $5) per month.
BSNL contracted Aperto Networks to provide equipment such as WiMAX base stations and subscriber units for the network. The California-based company disclosed that six cities, i.e., Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Pune, will be part of the initial coverage. The maiden rollout also looks to include four rural districts of Haryana, an Indian state adjacent to capital New Delhi.
The government envisions broadband subscriptions to grow to 9 million by the end of next year, up by 6 million from the current figure. Indian Communications and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran sees over a million additional connections per month once rural areas get technologies like WiMax.