BSNL launches voice & video telephony over IP in India

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NEW DELHI: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), India's incumbent and largest integrated telecom service provider, today announced joining with Sai InfoSystem (India) Ltd. (SIS) to launch the first of its kind VOIP services in India.

Present on the occasion of the launch were Adviser to the PM (Public Infrastructure, Information and Innovation) Sam Pitroda, BSNL CMD R. K. Upadhyay, Director (CFA), BSNL, Rajesh Wadhwa,; BSNL Director (CM) R.K Aggarwal, , and SIS CMD Sunil Kakkad.

BSNL's Voice & Video Over Internet Protocol (VVOIP) technology uses the packet switching technology and makes communication possible over IP networks such as Internet. In this, the Voice and Video signals are converted into data packets and sent to the destination, where the data packets are again converted back to voice and video respectively.

The main highlight of this service is that any customer can make audio and video calls at will on any landline, mobile or IP phone anywhere in the world (except India), provided both the ends have requisite video phone equipment and if video phone equipment is available at only one end, only voice call can happen. Within India, a customer can make only IP to IP calling within BSNL network.

The VVOIP service will cost 40 paise per minute for audio calls and Rs.2 per minute for video calls within the country. International calls charges using VVOIP service are very affordable. For example, a call to US will cost Rs.1.20 per minute and it will cost Rs.1.20 on landline and Rs.7.20 to mobile to UK, and Rs.1.20 per minute to China.

The detailed tariff charges for all countries are available on BSNL website, Monthly charges for VVOIP services will be Rs.150 only. Besides soft SIP phones, a terminal adaptor, which can be attached to existing PSTN phone, are also being made available by M/s Sai Info Systems which are available on BSNL as well as SIS web sites.

The high Quality of Service (QoS) is accompanied by authentication schemes and built in encryption to maintain the privacy and secrecy of the communication. The Video Telephone can also be connected to overhead projectors and LCD TVs for a bigger display for communication between groups of people.

This service also provides all the industry standard Class 5 features like Call Hold, Call Transfer, Do Not Disturb, Call Forward, Mute, Caller ID / Name Display or Block, Call Waiting, Call Waiting Caller ID, 3-Way Conferencing, Call Log, Video Phone Book, Off Hook Auto Dial, Auto Answer, Early Dial and Speed Dial, Redial, Volume Control, Visual Message / Voice-mail Indicator, Downloadable Custom Music Ring Tones, etc.

Availability of Soft phone, which can be installed on a Personal Computer (PC), will further reduce the initial investment for subscribing to this service. The Soft phone will be provided free of cost. DVD Quality pictures (30 fps) will ensure visual clarity at both ends. The controls will allow horizontal and vertical adjustments of the camera and zoom in and zoom out controls for better transmission of image.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the video telephony services, Upadhyay said, "We are happy to provide our customers with the latest video & voice telephony services so that they can easily connect with their friends & relatives residing anywhere in the world. To start with, video communication will be restricted within the country and within the BSNL network. This mode of communication is highly affordable compared to conventional Video Conferencing Services. The video phone service will drastically reduce the cost of communication and enhance the quality of today's communication by adding one more dimension. This service is highly user friendly and easy to install. We are also making arrangements with leading international carriers to ensure that consumers always reach their international destinations easily and at most affordable rates."
Kakkad added, "The technology used is in tune with the direction the telecom industry is heading - all different types of communication networks like landline, mobile, Internet are converging into a single IP network, which is today referred to as Next Generation Network (NGN). And SIS along with country's largest telecom provider BSNL brings to its customers these futuristic services today."

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