According to the Financial Express, state-owned Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has launched commercial WiMAX services in Ajmer in the Rajasthan state. The telco said that the cost of its WiMAX rollout in the region was approximately INR2.25 billion (USD48 million), while it is planning to spend around INR12 billion on its rural WiMAX programme. The telco said it will offer download speeds of up to 7Mbps, with tariffs starting at INR140 per month.
In a separate but related story, Ganpati News reports that BSNL is aiming to expand its WiMAX services to the Karnataka circle within the next three weeks. It is understood that the telco will focus its attention on rural regions, having outsourced contracts for urban WiMAX services to smaller local operators, and BSNL already reportedly has six base transceiver stations (BTSs) in operation in rural areas of Bangalore, Karnataka’s capital. A further ten are expected to be added in the short term, while BSNL plans to complete its second phase of BTS deployment by February 2010, by which date it aims to have more than 160 in operation.