New Delhi: Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) and the MobileFirst alliance, an alliance of leading cellular operators in India (BPL Mobile, Escotel, RPG Cellular and Spice Telecom) today announced an agreement to make VSNL the preferred carrier for the national long-distance (NLD) traffic.
With an existing subscriber base of over 3 million, the MobileFirst alliance today is one of the biggest consumers of NLD minutes in the country, and through this agreement VSNL will be able to leverage the size of the alliance to increase its market share of the NLD traffic.
Apart from the alliance partners, VSNL will also carry the NLD traffic for Hutch and Idea, the strategic partners of the MobileFirst alliance. The 6-million-strong MobileFirst subscriber base with a contiguous pan-India footprint will now have full access to VSNL's international long-distance (ILD) network.
Says VSNL managing director S K Gupta: "Through this agreement, VSNL will now be among the preferred NLD carriers and the 'first-in-route' for all outgoing ILD traffic for the MobileFirst alliance. It will also significantly add value to VSNL's growing market share of the NLD traffic."
Says Umang Das, managing director (corporate affairs), Spice Communications, a MobileFirst alliance partner: "As the forerunner of the mobile telephony industry, the MobileFirst alliance has a mature base with higher penetration for NLD calling. Through a strategic partnership with NLD service providers like VSNL, we have effectively leveraged the same to ensure that the best value is delivered on NLD calling to our subscribers."
MobileFirst alliance is in a unique position to offer NLD and ILD services through VSNL. With a backbone of over 10,000 kms and 3 million subscribers across 700 towns, MobileFirst encompasses contiguous cellular circles - BPL Mobile in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala; Escotel spanning Haryana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh West, Uttar Pradesh East, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh; RPG Cellular in Chennai; and Spice Telecom in Punjab and Karnataka.
VSNL is India's leading provider of international telecommunications and Internet services. VSNL also offers NLD services plus a host of other valued-added services like corporate data services, television and video uplinking, frame-relay services and Inmarsat services. VSNL has rolled out its NLD service in many cities and all metros across the country.
It has embarked on an ambitious dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM)-based optical fibre cable (OFC) backbone build programme, interconnecting major cities and towns in the country providing a high-capacity, reliable backbone network. This will enable VSNL collection, carriage and delivery of voice traffic between various telecom operators in different telecom circles. It will also provide a resilient Internet backbone interconnecting cities and will enable carriage of data traffic for customers.