Raja calls for accelrating rural connectivity

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (UNI) Advocating the use of Next Generation Networks (NGN), Communications and IT Minister A Raja today said the technology needs to be used to accelerate rural broadband connectivity.

Mr Raja said the new innovative technologies in NGN could be used to speed up the present rate of rural coverage, and the country could look at a model where engineers could become entrepreneurs and multiply the wealth of the country.

''We have, therefore, to ensure that the benefits of new technologies like NGN are delivered to the rural masses and that they bring value-addition in their lives through increased agricultural production and make life easier for the rural masses,'' Mr Raja said.

Speaking at a function to release the Compendium on NGN here, Mr Raja said poverty and unemployment in the rural sector are major challenges facing the country.

Companies, while ensuring profits for themselves, should also focus on how they can use new technologies to address these problems, he added.

Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) has been assisting the incumbent operators in providing technical support to plan and set up reliable telecom infrastructure in every nook and corner of the country.

After the sector was opened to private competition, the number of new networks has increased, while the tele-density has seen tremendous growth. With the government's target of 250 million telephones by 2007 is likely to be achieved in advance, the industry has set a new target for itself of achieving 500 million telephones by 2010. As competition becomes stiff, the operators are not simply looking for voice traffic but are planning to rollout triple play services.

Standard bodies are becoming the rallying point for industry to ensure that the products and services follow an accepted standard, so that products that are manufactured by different vendors are inter-operable.

In a highly competitive environment, when there are multiple operators and multiple technology choices available for a user, security, quality of service, end-to-end availability of seamless services across networks, number portability, availability of adequate IP addresses, and bridging the digital divide especially in rural areas become serious issues.

UNI

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