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India-Sri Lanka undersea cable link to cost Rs 80 crore

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Kolkata , Sept. 8

A SUBMARINE telecom cable link between India and Sri Lanka will be laid at an estimated capital cost of Rs 80 crore. The cost will be shared equally by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and the Sri Lanka telecom authorities, according to Mr A.K. Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL.

Addressing members of the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce (MCC) here on Thursday, Mr Sinha said that, in all probability, Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu would be the submarine cable landing station in India. The idea in the long term would be to extend the submarine cable connectivity from Sri Lanka to Singapore for providing connectivity to the South-East Asian region. The project would to completed by early next fiscal, he said.

As part of its growth plan, BSNL would focus on cellular and WLL (wireless in local loop) services, Internet and broadband, IP-based New Generation Networks, network management, IT billing and customer services. It has been proposed to introduce 1.2 million new WLL connections by March 2007 even as 18,000 villages would be brought under the WLL network by December 2006. By the end of the current fiscal, two crore new mobile phone users would be added to BSNL's customer base. IP-based networks would gradually be rolled out in 73 cities and towns across the country.

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