Tata Comm to invest $500mln for WiMax platform

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New Delhi, Mar 4 (UNI) Tata Communications today said it will invest 500 million dollars for its wireless broadband venture on WiMax platform and has partnered with US-based Telsima Corporation for equipment.

The company will invest 500 million dollars by 2010 in Wimax technology and is in talks with investors to sell minority stake in retail business, Tata Communications President (Retail Business Unit) Shankar Prasad told reporters here.

It expects to get 2,00,000 wireless broadband customers by March 2009, he added.

Telsima will to provide Wimax infrastructure and subscriber equipment solutions to deploy commercial Wimax network.

It has already in the process of deploying 3,000 base station sectors.

Tata Communications is the first to launch broadband services on the Wimax platform on a large scale for retail consumers in India.

In the initial phase, Tata Communications' WiMAX network will offer Broadband Internet access and content services to enterprise and residential customers in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Chandigarh, and Kolkata.

By the end of 2008, it plans to have enabled WiMAX retail broadband service in about 15 cities and 110 cities for enterprises.

Tata will also provide content and applications like software, encyclopedia and streaming to its subscribers.

WiMax can be used to provide high-speed internet connections over a wide area, and India is banking on the technology to expand broadband services to its far-flung rural areas.

India is still in the nascent stages of internet penetration, and the number of broadband connection remains lower.

UNI SR AK HT1638

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