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June 19, 1998
The foreign telecom company to partner Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited in its $500 million regional hub project will follow suit in providing long-distance services within India too.
VSNL is the state-owned overseas telecommunications monopoly.
According to sources, VSNL has planned this move, as there is a lot of synergy in routing international and domestic long-distance calls.
VSNL has already announced its intentions to provide domestic long-distance services when the services are thrown open to competition.
At present, the Department of Telecommunications has a monopoly in providing long-distance services within the country.
The monopoly of DoT on the service is coming up for review next year.
This, they add, will mean an optimum use of the hub's resources, which can also result in cost savings.
VSNL recently shortlisted the bids of Cable & Wireless, British Telecommunications-MCI and Global One from a total of seven bids it received for its proposed regional hub. Now only British Telecom remains in the race.
The final partner is expected to be chosen in a month after the detailed proposals are received by VSNL.
The process of shortlisting the bids had got considerably delayed due to a variety of reasons. Initially, a high-power committee was formed comprising members from the Department of Telecommunications and VSNL to evaluate and shortlist the bids, which took time.
The committee was then unable to meet for some time due to the global depository receipt issue of the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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