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Hughes India to connect 5,000 Gram Panchayats

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NEW DELHI: Hughes Communications India Private Limited (‘Hughes India’), a majority-owned subsidiary of Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, today announced its selection by Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited (BBNL) and Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd.(TCIL) to provide high-speed satellite connectivity to 5,000 remote gram panchayats.

Hughes India will enable Internet service for each gram panchayat using capacity from ISRO’s GSAT-19 and GSAT-11 satellites with the Hughes JUPITER System, the de facto standard for satellite broadband implementations, in use on more than 40 satellites worldwide. The awards are part of the government’s flagship BharatNet Programme to provide broadband connectivity to all 250,000 gram panchayats throughout India.

Commenting on the development, Sarvesh Singh, CMD, BBNL, said: “BharatNet is the backbone of Digital India, being created to achieve the objectives of Hon’ Prime Minister’s Digital India Mission. The BharatNet network being created by BBNL, is to provide affordable high-speed broadband access to rural citizens and institutions of all the Gram Panchayats of the country We are very happy to be partnering with TCIL and Hughes to leverage satellite broadband to connect gram panchayats that are remote or located in difficult terrain.”

Partho Banerjee, President & Managing Director, Hughes India, said: “Hughes is committed to the government’s vision of enabling Digital India, and we are excited about our partnership with TCIL and BBNL as part of BharatNet to bring high-speed connectivity to the remote gram panchayats. The most widely deployed satellite ground platform in the world, the JUPITER™ System will deliver reliable and highly efficient service, introducing more people across rural India to high-speed internet connectivity, enabling significant economic participation and social inclusion.”

 

The 5,000-gram panchayats are located in northeastern states, including Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, and the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh—places that lack terrestrial connectivity, such as fiber or cable.

With the Bharatnet project, Government of India aims to better facilitate e-governance applications like telemedicine (e sanjeevani), access to land records, treasury, police stations, internet access, and many other services in rural India. Hughes India will provide JUPITER™ System gateways, solar-powered user terminals, and network operations, install the equipment at each site, and manage the service to deliver speeds up to 10 Mbps.

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Tremendous potential for proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspots in India: TRAI

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NEW DELHI: Tremendous opportunity exists for the rapid proliferation of public Wi-Fi hotspots in India, and the PM WANI initiative can result in a massive scale-up of the internet in rural areas, which will be transformative, Trai Chairman said on Friday.

India needs all kinds of technology to serve its digital ambitions, and the technology-neutral stance will serve as a prime catalyst for the required growth, P D Vaghela, Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), said.

“There is a tremendous opportunity in India for the proliferation of public Wi-Fi hotspots. PM WANI (PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) can result in rapid scale-up of the internet in rural areas, which will be transformative given the low level of penetration (there) compared to urban areas,” he said while speaking at a virtual event organised by industry body Broadband India Forum (BIF).

India’s appetite for data appears to be insatiable, with the country now having over 750 million broadband connections.

“However, the potential for growth is still very high. I think, probably over 500 million more to be connected, especially in rural areas,” he pointed out.

Terming the internet as one of the most powerful socio-economic engines of growth, Vaghela said this is true not only for India but for the rest of the world.

“Wi-Fi 6 and 5G expand opportunities for digitisation across all industries…and enables organisations to be just everywhere, while increasing productivity and offering the best user experience,” he said.

The PM WANI initiative has been a historic step forward, he said, referring to the ambitious programme that aims to fuel broadband internet proliferation in the country through a mesh of public Wi-Fi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighbourhood shops.

“PM WANI system is a best low-cost alternative, which offers a way forward to connect low revenue consumers…,” he noted.

The BIF digital dialogues event also witnessed the release of an industry white paper titled Role and importance of next-generation Wi-Fi technologies in the acceleration of digital transformation’.

Some gaps need to be ironed out for the PM WANI scheme to pick up, the white paper said, flagging the need to create wider awareness about the scheme, its technical design, the utility of Public Wi-Fi services and associated benefits.

“A regulation prescribing ceiling rate with guaranteed QoS (quality of service) may be considered by Trai to ensure that ISPs/TSPs (internet and telecom service providers) do not exercise discriminatory practices in allocating bandwidth and pricing for PDOAs/PDOs,” BIF said summing up key suggestions contained in the white paper.

The government should facilitate easy bank loans or funding from USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) for small entrepreneurs to invest in the PDO/PDOA business, it said while calling for suitable modifications in the WANI framework to facilitate roaming.

“Spectrum in both 6 GHz and V band has been delicensed in several countries, to increase capacity and accelerate economic growth. Need to explore releasing these bands in India at the earliest to unlock their economic value through use in Wi-Fi services,” it added.

The government had earlier approved the setting up of public Wi-Fi networks and access points by local Kirana and neighbourhood shops through public data offices that will not involve any licence, fee or registration.

The public Wi-Fi Access Network initiative is aimed at bringing a massive Wi-Fi revolution in the country. The public Wi-Fi networks, under WANI, have an architecture involving multiple players — Public Data Office (PDO), Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) and app providers.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Nokia modernizes Subisu’s optical network for high-speed broadband across Nepal

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NEW DELHI: Nokia today announced that it had been selected by Subisu, a leading service provider in Nepal, to modernize the 1500 kilometers long backbone network spread across East and West Nepal.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative in Nepal, Nokia has deployed its 400G single fiber solution to provide ultra-high-speed broadband to Subisu’s retail and enterprise subscribers.

Nokia’s solution allows Subisu to address the growing bandwidth requirement and break into new market segments. Subisu’s customers will be able to use high-capacity applications and experience an overall improvement in the quality of services.

Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) platform offering Photonic Service Engine (PSE) enabled 400G single fiber, bidirectional Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) solution is now deployed across the country. This is the first operation of such a solution anywhere.

Nokia’s 400G single fiber solution significantly improves fiber capacity and helps Subisu enhance network resilience and reach while optimizing capex and reducing opex. The solution allows Subisu to easily scale the network to provide multi-terabits of capacity over a single fiber.

Binaya Saud, CEO, Subisu, said: “We have been working with Nokia for a long time now, and their industry-leading products and solutions are helping us provide best-in-class broadband services to our subscribers. Nokia was the sole vendor for this important project, and its solutions are enabling us to grow our subscriber base and provide a superior experience to our existing customers even as we future-proof our investments.”

Vinish Bawa, Head of Emerging Markets, India, Nokia, said: “Our field-proven 1830 PSS solution is enabling service providers, like Subisu, to meet the growing capacity demand even as they enhance customer experience. We are pleased with the successful and timely completion of this crucial project to modernize Subisu’s optical network, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

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Jio’s IAX and IEX projects to address region’s data revolution

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NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (Jio), India’s leading 4G and mobile broadband digital service provider, is constructing the largest international submarine cable system centered on India. Jio, in conjunction with several key global partners and world-class submarine cable supplier SubCom, is currently deploying two next generation cables to support the extraordinary growth in data demand across the region.

The India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) system connects India eastbound to Singapore and beyond, while the India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) system connects India westbound to the Middle East and Europe. The systems will seamlessly interconnect as well as connect to the world’s top interexchange points and content hubs for extension of service globally. IAX and IEX will enhance the ability for consumer and enterprise users to access content and cloud services in and out of India.

For the first time in the history of fiber optic submarine telecommunications, these systems place India at the center of the international network map, recognizing India’s increased importance, staggering growth, and the quantum shift in data use since the launch of Jio services in 2016.

These high capacity and high-speed systems will provide more than 200Tbps of capacity spanning over 16,000 kilometers. Employing open system technology and the latest wavelength switched RoADM/branching units ensures rapid upgrade deployment and the ultimate flexibility to add/drop waves across multiple locations.

“Jio is at the forefront of India’s explosive growth in digital services and data consumption. To meet the demands of Streaming Video, Remote Workforce, 5G, IoT, and beyond, Jio is taking a leadership role in the construction of the first of its kind, India-centric IAX and IEX subsea systems,” said Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio.

“Implementing these critical initiatives in the shadow of a global pandemic is a challenge, but the ongoing pandemic has only accelerated the digital transformation and the necessity of high-performance global connectivity for the delivery of a richer experience to enterprises and consumers,” he added.

The IAX system connects India, the world’s fastest growing economy, to Asia Pacific markets with express connectivity from Mumbai and Chennai to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. The IEX system extends India’s connectivity to Italy, landing in Savona, and additional landings in the Middle East and North Africa.

Apart from the seamless connection of the IAX and IEX sub-sea systems, the two systems are also connected to the Reliance Jio Global Fiber Network beyond Asia Pacific and Europe, connecting to both the east and west coast of the USA. IAX is expected to be ready for service mid-2023, while IEX will be ready for service in early 2024.

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