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Tuesday, Oct 08, 2002

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India helping Mauritius turn into cyber-island

G. Rambabu


AFTER successfully managing 37 technology parks in the country, the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), an institution under the Ministry of Communications and IT is now assisting the Government of Mauritius in setting up the Ebene CyberCity, to transform the nation into a "cyber island".

According to official sources, the recent visit by the Union Communications Minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan, to the island-nation, was not just to inaugurate the software park but to extend a supporting hand to the country in its ambitious initiative of being IT savvy.

"Ebene CyberCity is a knowledge park providing a single-stop world class facility for ICT companies engaged in the business of IT enabled services, call centres, back office operations, business process outsourcing , software development m intelligent manufacturing , IT education and IT-enabled education. It benefits from the experience of similar technology parks in Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore,'' they noted.

The officials noted that India has played an instrumental role in setting up this park through a soft credit loan of $100 million.

The 27-acre Cyber Tower and Multimedia zone, which will have as its focus the 12-floor Cyber Tower containing up to 3,00,000 square feet of serviced IT work space — including facilities for multimedia conferences, exhibitions on a 24-hour seven-days a week basis.

There will be a network-operating centre to provide satellite-based international bandwidth on tap for the CyberCity, they noted.

It also includes a 50-acre business zone space for enabling big IT companies to set up their own business office. For convenience, the zone has been divided into areas of one acre each for interested companies.

As well as a knowledge centre in 18 acres for integrated education and training complex for world-class facilities in ICT education at all levels.

That apart, a commercial centre in about 13 acres for giving the facilities of a large hypermarket and providing commercial services, trade and related activities for the CyberCity has also been set up.

The communications plan consists of satellite-based as well as high-speed cable/optic fibre data transmission links and provision for multiple service providers for data and voice communication facilities, with latest technologies of xDSL, GPRS and wireless broadband, they noted.

It includes plans for providing backbone structured cabling, adequate digital telephone switching capacity for ready to use telephone connections, radio networking and WCDMA/CDMA 3G facilities. All facilities will be modular and scalable to world standards for operability.

The city is connected, via ATM switch and optical fibre cable, to the high-speed node, at suitable locations. Initially, there will be a broadband VSAT communications hub in the CyberCity on the international highway. They pointed out that the additional benefits include an attractive tax regime, reliable banking and financial services, stable industrial relations, a positive attitude to foreigners and a huge talent pool.

"Mauritius is poised to be the leading business hub in the Indian Ocean region and India can take pride in this fact because we will be supporting this venture,'' the officials noted.

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