‘Tamil Nadu is Geared up to Support BSNL’s Evolution in Next Gen Technology’ —N Poonguzhali
Chief General Manager, Tamil Nadu Circle, BSNL
When rains lashed Tamil Nadu on December 1, 2015, mobile network connections in the capital city of Chennai and other coastal towns were completely disrupted. Leading mobile operators left their customers desperate for signals. But, state-run telecommunication giant BSNL ensured that its customers never lost both landline as well as mobile connectivity even when the city was partially submerged by the breaching of lakes and heavy water logging.
Led by the recently appointed Chief General Manager N Poonguzhali, the staff with the State Government’s support managed the crisis by wading through flooded roads to procure diesel to keep the towers functional with continuous power supply.
Poonguzhali, an officer of the 1979 batch of Indian Telecommunication Service, is also an alumnus of IIT Madras. She has more than 34 years of experience in the department of Telecommunication and in BSNL. She assumed the post of Chief General Manager, Tamil Nadu Circle in August 2015. In a chat with Voice&Data, she highlights BSNL’s technology up gradation, implementation and value-added services for BSNL subscribers in Tamil Nadu.
Voice&Data: It’s five months since you have taken charge as the Chief General Manager of BSNL Tamil Nadu. How have you adapted and managing to deliver on the responsibilities?
N Poonguzhali: The first thing I did after assuming the role of CGM is that I ensured there is a uniform working model in delivering all the targets set by the corporate office. We have the best team in place where employees have the best technical expertise and knowledge in telecommunications. I must admit that our staff at BSNL has been at their best service during the Chennai floods and I ensured that both our landline and mobile subscribers never lost connectivity. Chennai deluge was a boon for BSNL to prove its true mettle in crisis management.
The corporate office has commissioned various value added services that will be nationally launched in 2016. I am ensuring that all these new technologies and services will be implemented on time and I should be able to deliver all targets set for this financial year.
Voice&Data: What is your observation about the evolution of telecommunications and how is TN BSNL preparing to face this evolution and increase subscribers?
N Poonguzhali: Telecommunication technology is growing in leaps and bounds every minute. One way to predict a country’s growth is by the advances the country has made in implementing latest communication technology.
I foresee that in the future data will completely take over voice. People might even forget voice as one form of communication and data will soon dominate every aspect of communication. BSNL has certainly envisioned this trend, wherein data is crucial for the evolution of telecommunications. Latest technologies have been identified and the corporate office has commissioned many projects for the modernization of our country’s telecommunication. We are definitely the biggest support for Digital India.
The corporate office has commissioned the procurement of various upgraded state-of-art instruments and equipments that are built using latest technologies. The TN circle of BSNL has been directed to implement various upgraded technologies. Tamil Nadu is geared up to implement all the latest technologies. Both mobile and broadband connectivity will undergo a seachange in technology to increase the subscriber database. Let me elaborate:
A 7 PLUS EXPANSION Plan has been commissioned where we will be dealing with scale-up of services for additional 7 lakh capacity that is to be added to TN circle.
1450 additional 3G BTSs have been proposed for TN, of which 70 BTSs have already been commissioned.
All older technology equipments for mobile connectivity are being replaced by the latest equipments to offer high speed connectivity.
42 new towns have been identified for 3G network implementation. Almost all Taluk headquarters in TN are expected to have corporate coverage by the end of 2016.
Tenders have been sanctioned to procure latest ZTE and Huawei 3G equipments. Also, to boost connectivity along major rail routes new towers will be installed, especially along the longest rail routes like Chennai-Kanyakumari will have uninterrupted connectivity.
There is a plan to commission many Wi-Fi hot spots in TN, so far 100 locations have been identified and 8 popular tourist locations have BSNL’s Wi-Fi connectivity.
BSNL has already upgraded to the Next Generation Network (NGN) technology, which features subscriber friendly value added services (VAS). This will be launched very soon by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Telecommunication Minister.
NGN will be introduced in a phased manner and we have already initiated Phase 1 of its implementation. NGN will completely change the dynamics of fixed line connectivity to new subscribers. It will prove as a boon to our subscribers and will definitely increase our revenue by many folds. Special landline instrument sets have been developed to the give these value added services under the NGN technology. The following are the value added services in the NGN scheme:
Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC): NGN customers will be able to receive calls in roaming made to landline on mobile phones. Up to 8 landlines can be combined routed to a NGN-enabled mobile phone. This facility will work with a continuous internet connection.
Multi Media Video Conferencing: Customers can set-up many multimediavideo conferences across the country.
Fixed Mobile Telephony (FMT): Using just an internet-enabled mobile instrument, NGN customers can make incoming and outgoing calls with the 8-digit landline number allotted to them.
Prepaid in Landline: Customers can use the prepaid option for paying bills.
All India IP Centrex facility: This involves the most advanced switching technology. The Centrex facility will be applied within the switch rather than limiting it to specific exchanges. This switching technology will be a costeffective approach for large organizations and banks to be centrally connected. This technology will is certainly going to increase our broadband users and boost our profits multi-fold.
Voice&Data: Nationally, BSNL has reported profits in FY15. Could you elaborate on this and also state how was this achieved?
N Poonguzhali: This is the first year where we have recorded operational cost profit over operational loss. Operational cash profit in TN circle was Rs 54 crore. This is certainly a welcome change.