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Microsoft Partners with Indian Government to Provide Digital Infrastructure in India


After Facebook, Redmond-Washington-based Microsoft is planning to widen the Internet reach in India’s rural areas with its TV White Space technology. To play an important role in providing digital Infrastructure in India, the company has also discussed the matter with telecom department to provide cost-effective connectivity with deployment of its TV White Space technology.

The technology works on parts of unused spectrum available in broadcasting bands in the lower frequencies from 200 MHz to 700 MHz. Also, uses gaps between airwaves that are untouched by broadcasters to avoid interference or disturbance between transmissions.

“I believe TV White-Space can be the affordable answer to last-mile connectivity challenges in India, especially for remote areas that lack electricity and other infrastructure,” the company’s India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik told ET.

Also Read: Indian Government to provide Internet access to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats

The US company wants to collaborate with national broadband project (National Optic Fibre Network) aimed at connecting 2.5 lakh village panchayats through high-speed broadband by 2017.

The NOFN project, with an estimated cost of INR 20,000 Cr, was approved by the government in 2011. The purpose of the project was to provide Internet connectivity at gram panchayat level using existing fibres of PSUs (BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid) and laying incremental fibre wherever necessary.

During his visit to India last month, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella also announced that it would set up three data centres in the country by December 2015 that will enable access to customers in banking and financial services as well as the central and state governments.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, also visited India soon after Satya Nadella, met with PM Narendra Modi and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, showed interest to deploy alternative technology to provide broadband connectivity in remote and inaccessible areas.

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