RailTel celebrates its Annual Day

New Delhi: RailTel Corporation of India Ltd (RailTel), a Mini Ratna PSU of Ministry of Railways, and one of the leading telecom infrastructure providers in the country celebrated its 13th Annual Day yesterday on 17th October 2013. Shri Arunendra Kumar, Chairman, Railway Board, was the Chief Guest at the function while Shri Kul Bhushan, Member Electrical, Railway Board, presided over the function. Shri R.K.Bahuguna, Chairman & Managing Director, RailTel and Senior Officers from Railway Board and RailTel were among those present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Arunendra Kumar, Chairman Railway Board said that RailTel has built nationwide Optical Fibre Cable based broadband and multimedia network using Railway’s seamless right of way with the objective of modernizing railways networks as well as enable the growth of Telecom, Internet and IT enabled value added services in all parts of the country. Shri Arunendra Kumar said that RailTel has created the state of the art optical fibre infrastructure so as to deliver secure and reliable connectivity to the industry, important government departments besides Indian Railways. He said that RailTel has taken new strides in the area of overseas telecom projects and now executing a project in Bhutan and working upon similar projects in various other countries of central and south Asia. RailTel is also playing a major role in developing Telecom Networks of national interests like National Knowledge Network, National optical Fiber Network etc., Shri Kumar added.

Shri Kumar said that RailTel is playing an important part in Passenger Reservation System (PRS) and Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS). He said that Railway Board has also recommended for optimum utilisation of RailTel infrastructure and also its recently created data center by organisations like CRIS in the area of services like ticketing, management information systems, passenger information services, etc which needs to be augmented for greater availability and reliability. Shri Kumar said that RailTel is part of Government’s prestigious National Optical Fibre Network Project which is meeting information and communication needs of common people living in remote and backward areas. Moreover, RailTel is a lead creator of National Knowledge Network, an innovative platform for building knowledge society in the country.

Shri Kumar called upon all other PSUs of Ministry of Railways to synergize with RailTel to meet their hi-tech communication needs. Referring to the Dedicated Freight Corridor (under construction), Shri Kumar said that RailTel can play an important role in providing seemless state-of-the-art communication network for this ambitious mega project of Indian Railways .

Shri Kumar hoped that RailTel would facilitate broadband through WiFi at Railway Stations for convenience of passengers for accessing Railway related information. He pointed out that with the affordable smart phones, Railways should also expedite mobile ticketing gadgets to TTEs.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Kul Bhusan, Member Electrical, Railway Board said that RailTel Corporation is the largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers in the country owning a Pan-India optic fiber network of approx.42000 KMs of OFC. Works on another about 7500 KMs are in various stage of completion. The OFC network presently reaches to over 4200 towns & cities in the country including several rural areas. He said that RailTel has diversified its business plan and it is now a key player in building Strategic Telecom Networks for various government organisations like Army, BARC, DRDO, NIC and many banks etc. He said that as part of the National Optical Fibre Network Project in the country, RailTel is playing an important role in connecting all Panchayats in the country. RailTel has been entrusted the project in 11 states for creating the broadband infrastrutrue to connect about 36000 gram Panchayats. Shri Kul Bhushan said that RailTel is targeting to connect about 8000 panchayats by the end of current financial year. Shri Kulbhushan informed that RailTel and CRIS a software arm of Indian Railways have now decided to come together to synergize their strengths and dovetail their individual efforts in the area of complete ICT solutions taking care of software, hardware, networking etc requirements of many government organisations together.

In his speech Shri R.K. Bahuguna, CMD said that during Financial Year 2012-13, the company earned a net profit of Rs. 112 Crs on a turnover of Rs. 436 Cr. as against net-profit of Rs. 88 cr. on turnover of Rs. 404 Cr. last year. RailTel has been earning profits from 2006-07 onwards and it has also been regularly paying dividend from 2007-08 after wiping out all accumulated losses, despite turmoil in the telecom service market of late. He said that RailTel is the only profitable PSU of the Central Government in telecom sector.

He said that RailTel has successfully ventured into international market, and recently won Bhutan contract at approx. cost of Rs.8 Cr. He said that RailTel has established its first data centre in Hyderabad and now its second data centre in Gurgaon will be ready in next three months time. Referring to networks in NE States, Shri Bahuguna said that the Company is executing work relating to creation of OFC network of approx. 12,000 Kms. in 6 states of NE area viz. Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland & Manipur under USOF subsidy. He said that RailTel with its vast pool of S&T engineers is well poised to take up Railway project works in the domain of Mobile Train Radio, Train protection and warning system .

Shri Bahuguna said that RailTel is now going to launch its innovative ‘Railwire’ service on a pan-India basis. Railwire service developed on partnership model has been designed to provide an open source content delivery platform for providing various services including Broadband Internet, IP telephony, e-HealthCare, e-Education, and other content driven services (like gaming, video on demand services, etc) to Home & SMB segment using cable operator’s infrastructure. Presently Railwire has been launched as pilot in limited geographical areas comprising Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Kerala having over 6000 customers.

Referring to the R&D efforts, he said that RailTel signed a tripartite MoU with DoT & IIT Roorkee to establish the 8th Telecom Sector of Excellence in the country at IIT Roorkee. for doing research & development in the field of “ICT & Broadband Applications”. In addition RailTel has also tied-up with Telecom Sector Skill Council to provide skill development training specially in North East area. Talking about CSR, Shri Bahuguan CMD said that RailTel provided IT-Kiosk in schools with broadband access at 36 institutions in 20 rural panchayats in the State of Tripura, West Bengal, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, MP and Tamilnadu of the country. Shri Bahuguna informed that RailTel won two awards at the prestigious Economic Times Telecom Awards in the category of “Trusted Carrier of the Year” and “Best Social Initiative”.

On this occasion, Chairman Railway Board and other dignitaries also presented awards to the 25 employees of RailTel for their excellent performance in different fields.