Its NOW Or Never: Data Access Set To Better Bhartis ILD Offer

Chennai: | Updated: Apr 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
The international long distance (ILD) customers in India never had it so good the coming weeks will see them getting that bit more for their Rupee.

Close on the heels of Bharti Telesonics announcement reducing its ILD tariff by 40 per cent on last Monday, Data Access India (NOW) is planning to launch its services at rates lower than that.

The ISP has received its CAC (ca-rrier access code) a dial code that allows a subscriber to choose the ILD network he/she prefers on Friday. It is likely to be the first private company to launch ILD operations in the country, after the sector opened-up on April 1.

The company is one of the three private sector ILD licence holders in the country the other two being Reliance and Bharti. While Reliance is yet to get its infrastructure in place, Bharti has not yet finalised its interconnection arrangements with BSNL/MTNL.

In an e-mail to eFE, Mr Siddhartha Ray, CEO of Data Access said that the company had received its CAC from the DoT (Department of Telecom) on Friday and expected to get all security clearances soon. Once that is over, we can roll out in 24 hours, he said.

The company had its interconnect and revenue share agreements in place with BSNL and MTNL, he added.

Retail customers, however, may not have a direct interface with the company as it is more focused on wholesale business rather than retail. We are a carriers carrier, said Mr Ray.

The company has signed agreements with BSNL and MTNL for wholesale tariff and they will determine the retail rates, he said. I expect them to be lower than those Bharti announced early this week, he added. The company plans to first start ILD services with wholesale deals, then introduce CAC-based dialling and follow that with pre-paid phone cards.

With the launch of ILD, the ban-dwidth requirement of the company is expected to go up by 100 mbps for voice and international private leased circuit (IPLC) services.

It currently has over 300 mbps of international bandwidth all from its own international satellite gateways.

The company has five international gateways in the country located at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata. For termination of traffic overseas, it has signed traffic agreements with 14 Tier 1 and a four Tier 2 international carriers, according to Mr Ray.