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BSNL Round Up: Orissa WLL, WiMax, 3G; Rural Subs; Security Hiccups

Orissa Plans: BSNL's incursion into Orissa will bring WLL (wireless in local loop) services and Village Public Telephones to two districts in Orissa, and establish 14 Wi-Max stations. The company also also plans to roll out its 3G network in the state this month - in the capital Bhubaneswar in Phase 1, followed by Berhampur, Balasore, Sambalpur, Cuttack and Rourkela in phase 2. More details at Business Standard 1M Rural Wireline Broadband Subs: BSNL has a three pronged strategy to draw rural users - reduce broadband tariff charges; offer free modems and bundling desktops with broadband (which it is already doing in other states). Anil Jain, deputy director-general of broadband services at BSNL has told Dow Jones Newswires that they're expect to add one million new wireline and broadband subscribers in rural India by fiscal 2012, and also connect half of the country's villages to the Internet by March. More details at Total Telecom This is surprising for more than one reason - the cost of setting up wireline infrastructure - the cost of copper - is prohibitive. BSNL would be better off setting up wireless infrastructure. We wouldn't be surprised to hear a similar statement from BSNL about connecting half the countrys villages to the Internet by 2015 in 2012.  Above all, who is going to create online content for the rural population, and who will pay for it?

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