Updated: Jul 20

RailTel's Director of Network Planning and Marketing, Sanjai Kumar says a focused approach will catalyse the ongoing development of RailTel's community lead broadband internet service - RailWire. He spoke about three specific areas of focus in particular:

Network planning: This means fine-tuning, and up-gradation of network operations that cater to RailWire's increasing subscriber base and the subsequent increase in data utilisation. This will ensure subscribers, even in rural areas, will enjoy better availability and higher speeds from their RailWire connections.

Presence: RailTel has installed RailWire connectivity in 6,000 out of the total 7,000 railway stations across the country. Notably, 80% of those stations are in rural areas and that opens a large door of opportunity to provide broadband connections to the surrounding villages. He added that, as a part of Bharat Net project that aims to connect 6 lakh villages in 1,000 days, RailTel has requested permission from Government of India to start a pilot project in Jharkhand and Maharashtra. The approval for Jharkhand alone would connect 30,000 villages!

Sanjai Kumar asserted that, by 2022, RailWire plans reaching a total figure of 10 lakh subscribers pan India.

MSPs: Appointing MSPs in all the states across India, RailTel is at the forefront of enabling RailWire as a brand. Additionally, he sent these appealing message to:

Subscribers: "We assure you that RailTel is willing to learn from the past to improve the future. We also reassure you that RailWire aims to smoothen our backhaul issues and will continue to provide high quality bandwidth."

ANPs: "You are our partners and a very important part of our ecosystem. We assure you that you will grow with us and together, we will set a model for others to follow."

With a fresh viability gap funding of INR 19,041 crores covering 16 states announced for Bharat Net Project this month by the Government, he added,

"Our ability to further innovate on more efficient and effective PPP models will be key in reaching our network to the Gram Panchayat, Village Council and Village level as we penetrate deeper in the market geographically, making high speed broadband available to more Indians."

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Updated: Jul 20

Puneet Chawla, RailTel CMD
Helping Build an Inclusive Knowledge Economy in India

The pandemic year of 2020-21 changed education forever and as a response to the significant demand in online education, RailWire, RailTel’s high-speed Fiber to the Home (FTTH) broadband internet service in partnership with 5000+ communities in India, recently proposed ‘smart classes’ for rural schools run by Government.

“Education system in rural India is more complex that the urban cities and requires more attention. With the schools shut for more than a year, we have pitched a ‘smart classes’ proposal to the Ministry of Education to impact around 3.5 lakh students who are enrolled in schools run by the Central government predominantly for meritorious students in rural India,” shared Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel, a min-ratna PSU under Ministry of Railways.

“To enable rural India’s transition into an e-learning education system, it requires large investments in infrastructure of optical-fiber cables and towers for uninterrupted transmission of online classes. RailWire’s Optical Fiber cable network running along railway tracks allow us provide connectivity to the remotest parts of the country,” adds Puneet Chawla.

In a globally emerging knowledge-based economy, our ability in creating digital infrastructure that helps in transfer of knowledge and data inclusively to a larger percentage of our population is critical - Puneet Chawla, CMD RailTel

Chawla added, “We are identifying areas least served and continuously trying to penetrate these areas by overcoming associated challenges through smart and innovative business modelling, north-east of India being the latest entrant in our expansion plans.”

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Updated: Jul 20

Anand Kumar Singh, Director Finance, RailTel
Ready For A Quantum Change

As of 2019, RailWire — RailTel’s broadband services in partnership with 5000+ communities in India had a little over 1 lakh subscribers. However, post-pandemic, it saw an immense surge in the growth of its subscriber base. A quantum leap from around 1 lakh to over 3.5 lakh subscribers.

Anand Kumar Singh, Director Finance RailTel, provides two compelling reasons for this surge.

Need: The pandemic turned the broadband internet connection from a luxury to a necessity.

Trust: That necessity in turn created the requirement for a reliable broadband service provider and it is noteworthy, that most subscribers opted for RailTel’s broadband connection, not for the lack of a choice, instead, because they trusted RailWire more.

Anand Kumar Singh affirms that the speed with which RailTel is taking on this challenge of quantum change will prove to be a benchmark for its efficiency and dedication.

With one in a hundred, India is amongst the lowest in the world in terms of wired broadband subscribers’ ratio and evidence of great potential for RailTel to grow its wired broadband penetration through RailWire. From a 100 crore revenue in 2020, RailTel is expected to see an exponential growth of 210 crore in 2021, which will be a 100% growth.

On a parting note, he quipped, "We are targeting adding over 7 lakh more subscribers in 2021 and are now organisationally ready to take on this challenge of quantum change.”

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