RailTel Corporation eyes business in Africa, West Asia

images (1)New Delhi:  After bagging the contract for setting up a national broadband network in Bhutan, RailTel is now eyeing business in African and West Asian countries.

The telecom arm of Indian Railways is also expected to bag a R100-crore contract for setting up a broadband network in Bangladesh.

“After making our first international foray, we are now exploring opportunities in African and Middle Eastern (West Asian) countries. There’s a huge business potential there and with the kind of experience we have in setting up optical fibre network, we definitely have an edge over the other players. We are participating in global tenders of these countries,” a railway ministry official said.

RailTel has created a high-speed optical fiber cable (OFC) Backbone Network along railway routes across the country, totaling to a length of over 42,000 km and connecting over 4,000 stations on the network, including several rural areas.

“Another major contract of Bangladesh of setting up a national information highway is also in the pipeline. We are expecting to win that contract as well,” the official added.

Recently, the telecommunication arm of Indian Railways signed a memorandum of understanding with the ministry of information and communication, Bhutan Government to set up a national internet network connecting their government offices, universities and other important institutions.

RailTel has also ventured into international ICT projects and is targeting such projects in Saarc countries.

The PSU is also strengthening its enterprise solutions operations to garner a larger share of business from Indian government departments and PSUs.

The company is targeting 10% of the Rs.5,000-crore government sector enterprise solutions business in the first phase. At present, the company gets only 20% of its business from government departments.

RailTel is also providing broadband connectivity to 36,000 gram panchayats of eight states and three union territories of the country.