Tata Communications plans to connect 200,000 retail customers using WiMax by March 2009, the company said Tuesday.
The company, which is targeting both retail and enterprise customers, said that it plans to roll out WiMax in 110 cities for its enterprise customers and 15 cities for retail customers this year.
The company expects to invest US$500 million in this venture over the next three years, a company spokesman said.
India is relatively under-served in broadband Internet services, particularly for consumers. The country, with a population of 1.1 billion, had 3.24 million broadband subscribers at the end of January this year, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
This figure, which includes connections of a speed higher than 256 Kbps (kilobits per second), is a fraction of India's mobile connections, totaling 242 million at the end of January.
Tata Communications already has over 5,000 enterprise and retail customers in ten cities to whom the company is offering the service. The company announced Tuesday that it has selected Telsima of Sunnyvale, California as a supplier of equipment for its WiMax network.
WiMax technology delivers wireless broadband services over a long distance. Based on the IEEE 802.16 standard, it was developed to deliver non-line-of-sight (LoS) connectivity between a subscriber station and base station, with typical cell radius of three to 10 kilometers, according to the WiMax Forum, an industry consortium.