You might expect a major Indian 4G connectivity project to be awarded to one of India’s big mobile operators, However, RailTel, a PSU (Public Sector Undertaking or government-owned establishment) under the Ministry of Railways, was the recent winner of a State Bank of India (SBI) order to provide LTE connectivity for a large number of its ATMs.
It’s less of a surprise when you consider that RailTel is one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure and ICT solutions and services providers in the country, owning a pan-India optic fibre network covering several towns and cities and rural areas of the country.
This no doubt gives it the experience to take on the contract, selected through a competitive bidding process and worth some 2.5 billion rupees (about US$30.6 million).
RailTel will provide LTE connectivity to 15,000 offsite SBI ATMs spread across India. The project also involves the operation and maintenance of the entire network for five years, along with the establishment of a network operations centre, backhaul connectivity to SBI’s data centre and disaster recovery centre, a live dashboard for SLA monitoring and a 24X7 helpdesk.
Sanjai Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, RailTel, describes the order as “a key milestone for RailTel to provide high-speed and reliable last-mile connectivity, which is aligned with our core competence and business portfolio”.