Reliance Comm, Intel to offer Net connectivity

Reliance Comm, Intel to offer Net connectivity

Author | Source: Business Standard | Wednesday, Jul 05,2006 7:32 AM

Reliance Comm, Intel to offer Net connectivity

Reliance Communications has announced a joint programme with Intel to offer Internet connectivity with Intel-powered PCs. The programme has been initiated in Andhra Pradesh and will be extended to the rest of the country in the next few months.

Users purchasing systems from genuine Intel dealers will be offered internet connectivity on the Reliance Netconnect platform. The user will not have to give the security deposit of Rs 500, which is otherwise refundable on exit.

“A payment of Rs 1,200 will have to be paid, which will be reimbursed in the form of Internet usage worth that amount for three months,” Inder Bajaj, head (post-paid business), Reliance Communications, told mediapersons on Tuesday.

The initiative will initially cover 13 towns in Andhra Pradesh and then extend to more.

“The intent of this programme is to increase Internet and PC penetration in small towns where lack of good connectivity has been the bottleneck thus far,” Manu Khera, head (data business), Reliance Communications, said.

Surendra Arora, director, South Asia (customer solutions group), Intel, said the market for PCs in India was growing at 30 per cent year-on-year and this initiative would help them bridge the digital divide.

Meanwhile, Reliance is also planning to launch rural PCOs, which will function as internet kiosks in the near future. On whether the company was planning to shift focus to GSM technology owing to Qualcomm’s refusal to budge on royalty, Bajaj said they would offer what the customer demands.

He, however, added that they were evaluating options of expanding their GSM user base. At present, Reliance Communications has 1.9 crore CDMA users and 22 lakh GSM users.

On whether negotiations with Qualcomm were still on, Bajaj said that these were business issues that keep happening on an ongoing basis.

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