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VSNL ties up with AMD to launch new Net communicator

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Oct. 29

VIDESH Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) has emphasised its serious thrust on broadband services when it announced, together with microprocessor and device company AMD, the launch of the Personal Internet Communicator (PIC) in the country.

The PIC was described as a "high-quality, affordable and easy-to-use consumer device" that will help provide managed Internet access to first-time technology users; the product will be offered as part of the Tata Indicom Broadband Service.

It is a computing device in itself and comes with a keyboard, mouse and monitor; as such it would be less expensive than a personal computer. Company officials would not say how much it would cost, but it would be made affordable to the customer by adopting different modes of payment, such as equated monthly instalments, microfinance or by even leasing the product out to them, said Mr Shashi Kalathil, Head, Broadband Services, VSNL.

It is currently being tested but eventually will be available wherever Tata Indicom broadband has a presence in the country

The PIC will be offered to Tata Indicom Broadband customers as part of a bundled Internet service including all the hardware and software a consumer needs, said officials at a news conference here.

The PIC offerings would include word-processing, Internet browser, spreadsheet and a presentation viewer.

For AMD, the PIC and the tie-up are part of its "50x15 strategy" to enable 50 per cent of the world's population with Internet connectivity and computing capabilities by 2015, said Mr Ajay Marathe, President, AMD India.

This strategy starts with India, Mexico and the Caribbean, with India being the first place of launch.

Although the tie-up with VSNL for the PIC is not exclusive, VSNL would have the first right of refusal for the manufacturing capacity that AMD would like to have here, said Mr Marathe.

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