The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has been inviting tenders for setting up 50,000 Common Service Centres (CSCs) across the country. The initiative would be one of the largest deployment of WiMax in the world.
In the first phase, all CSCs will use the traditional method of connecting to high speed Internet and providing other ICT services via fibre cable. Although Government of India has not unveiled the 3G spectrum policy, but DoT has allocated WiMax spectrum to BSNL for this project. According to sources, BSNL will allocate the spectrum in the 2.5 GHz frequency band for its wireless broadband foray. The project is expected to be completed by August 2008. These CSCs will primarily cater to semi-urban and rural areas of the country. The Communication Minister, A Raja has directed BSNL to work in co-ordination with the Department of Information Technology in order to ensure that the project is completed within the time frame. Companies like Telsima Corp, Aperto Networks and Alcatel Lucent have shown their interest in bidding for the WiMAX project in these 70 cities.