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UTStarcom bags contracts from BSNL, ITI for large scale Wi-Fi deployment in rural India

NASDAQ-listed global telecommunications infrastructure provider UTStarcom recently announced two significant Wi-Fi project wins in India with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and ITI. BSNL is one of the Company’s major customers in the region.

UTStarcom is assisting BSNL in providing high-speed data services to over 1,000 remote village clusters in Northern and North Eastern India. Using a combination of satellite links and Wi-Fi hotspots mainly powered by solar, hundreds of thousands of residents will soon have modern broadband internet access.

This project is claimed to be one of the first to bring modern telecom infrastructure to remote locations and is a showcase example for developing the government’s “Digital India Program”.

UTStarcom will provide all of the Wi-Fi equipment for the project, including Wireless Access Points, Power over Ethernet (PoE) Switches, Wireless Controllers and other related components and services.

Large-scale Rural Public Wi-Fi Hotspot Network: Through the partnership with ITI Limited, a government-owned manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in India, UTStarcom is also assisting BSNL in implementing a massive public hotspot network in rural India. Utilizing their existing network of rural telephone exchanges, BSNL will install 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across wide areas of rural India. The network is designed to provide inexpensive data services to the rural population in underserved regions and is another showcase project for implementing Digital India.

Wi-Fi equipment will be supplied by several vendors, including UTStarcom. UT will again provide Wireless Access Points, Power over Ethernet (PoE) Switches, Wireless Controllers and other related components and services.

Commenting on naming UTStarcom for the projects, Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman & Managing Director of BSNL, said, “As one of the leading telecom service providers in India, BSNL is also involved in the implementation of various Government initiatives to drive Digital India progress, thus helping to make access to modern telecommunications services available to citizens across India. Providing Wi-Fi services in rural areas, remote locations and across tough terrains are just few of such initiatives. Naturally, such projects are sensitive and require from us and our partners the highest level of responsibility in order to meet technical and timeframe requirements. Based on our long-term experience with UTStarcom, we see the company as a reliable technology partner in this type of project.”

Highlighting the strategic partnership with UTStarcom, Shri Alagesan, Chairman & Managing Director of ITI Limited, commented, “As a global telecom infrastructure provider, UTStarcom focuses on delivering carrier-class broadband transport and access products and solutions.  Our partnership with UTStarcom aims at the supply, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of 25,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots in the rural telephone exchanges of BSNL on a turnkey basis.  This project is under execution in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab with the WLC at Pune, and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2019.”

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