‘Tamil Nadu is Geared up to Sup­port BSNL’s Evo­lu­tion in Next Gen Tech­nol­ogy’ —N Poonguzhali

Chief Gen­eral Man­ager, Tamil Nadu Cir­cle, BSNL

Voice&Data - - CONTENT - Anusha Ash­win [email protected]­berme­dia.co.in

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:

Mo­bile Con­nec­tiv­ity

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.

Broad­band 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.

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