Press Releases: STPI seeks DoT nod to give bandwidth for call centres Deccan Herald, July 3,2002.

Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) has sought Department of Telecom's (DoT) nod to provide bandwidth to call centres, at present the domain of VSNL. This, even though DoT is believed to be not inclined towards STPI catering to voice segment as voice bandwidth is the domain of VSNL and STPI's role is to serve the data-related bandwidth requirement, according to IT department sources.

According to them, in the current scenario, voice and data go in same stream (packet) and as long as it is not used for retail purpose, differentiation between voice and data segments is baseless. “DoT has asked us to apply for international long distance licence and it is only after getting it that STPI would only be able to do the same,” they said.

“They should allow us to provide bandwidth for call centres which come under IT-enabled services category. Our statutory role is to provide all infrastructure including bandwidth to IT and ITES companies,” they added.

Call centres need more than 500 Mbps bandwidth for their voice related functions.

The other reasons for STPI’s proposed move is the absence of VSNL earth stations in areas like Guwahati, Srinagar and many other remote parts where VSNL is unable to provide bandwidth to call centres and where STPI could step into, sources added.

Besides providing bandwidth to needy customers, it could be a second revenue stream for the STPI. Even if VSNL's monopoly over international connectivity came to an end since April 2002, the situation, however, remains as that of pre-April 2002 days, sources said.

“Serving IT and ITeS companies which also includes call centres is our main function. In an advanced digitised environment, setting aside bandwidth based on voice and data differentiation is not in the best interests of the customers,” they explained.

Recently, DoT permitted inter-connectivity of call centres of same group of companies for back-up and load balancing between multiple locations.