To provide total telecom solutions for SEZ at Mundra

Our Bureau

Ahmedabad, Nov. 8

Bharti Airtel Ltd on Wednesday announced a first-of-its-kind alliance with the Adani Group for setting up an end-to-end modern telecommunication network infrastructure for the latter's multi-sector special economic zone (SEZ), located near Mundra Port in Kutch district of Gujarat.

However, the size of the deal or the investments to be made by the telecom major in the SEZ could not be known.

"Our investments are confidential. We are still sizing up the requirements of the SEZ nationally and internationally. But it would certainly be a sizeable investment," said Mr Vinod Sawhny, Joint President, Enterprise Services, Bharti Airtel Ltd, at a press conference here.

He said his company would lay the optical fibre cables in the SEZ area in the next four to six months as a prerequisite for providing end-to-end telecommunication solution.

Also, Bharti will set up several points of presence (PoP) internationally for creating a world-class connectivity.

Although Bharti serves about 1,500 corporate houses across India, it would provide total telecommunication solutions to an SEZ for the first time to bridge the digital divide.

No entry barriers

Bharti will remove "entry barriers" by providing best services to the industrialists seeking to come to Mundra SEZ as part of providing better civic life to attract quality manpower.A memorandum of understanding, for rolling out the services, was signed between Mr Sawhny and Mr Ameet H. Desai, Chief Financial Officer (Infrastructure), Adani Group. Under the agreement, Bharti will provide telecom services to Mundra SEZ for an initial period of seven years and then the two sides would mutually review the agreement. As per the pact, Bharti will set up a telecom corridor connecting the Mundra Port and the adjacent SEZ site nationally and internationally. The telecom infrastructure within the SEZ will be rolled out in a phased manner and cover the entire SEZ, including the port and the power plant areas.

Services on offer

Bharti will equip the Mundra Port and SEZ with data, fixed voice and mobile services, besides providing managed hosting and business resiliency and continuity services.Under managed hosting services, Bharti will not only host and manage the data and applications for enterprises based at Mundra Port and SEZ but also provide them with connectivity and video surveillance and create an MPLS VPN. Companies will also be able to safeguard themselves against any unforeseen disasters by having access to back up of critical business data and applications through the business resiliency and continued integrated services. For this purpose, cutting edge technology would be brought to Mundra.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 9, 2006)
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