Crossing the border

Written by Rajat Arora | Updated: Aug 28 2013, 15:10pm hrs
RailTel, the telecom arm of the Indian Railways, is spreading its wings abroad. After bagging its first international contract from Bhutan, the railway PSU is now looking to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka to get signalling and telecommunication contracts.

We have been getting queries from these countries for the signalling and telecommunications for their metro or railway projects. Till now, we have been limited to working for the Indian Railways, a RailTel official said.

Recently, RailTel signed a memorandum of understanding with Bhutan's ministry of information and communication to set up a national internet network connecting the government offices, universities and other important institutions there.

The PSU is about to get a R100-crore order for setting up the national information highway in Bangladesh. Emboldened by the prospects of bagging such lucrative orders, the PSU is now exploring opportunities in Africa and Middle Eastern countries. Its ambition is to become a R1,000-crore company in the next two years. Its current annual turnover is around R450 crore,

The PSU is also strengthening its enterprise solution operations to garner a larger share of business from Indian government departments and PSUs. The company is targeting 10% of the R5,000-crore government sector enterprise solutions business in the first phase.

RailTel has created a high-speed optical fibre cable (OFC) backbone network along the railway routes across India, over a length of 42,000 km and connecting more than 4,000 stations on the network. It is also providing broadband connectivity to 36,000 gram panchayats in eight states and three union territories.