British telecom brand eyes India’s northeast

Guwahati, Sep 3 (IANS) New Call Telecom Ltd., one of the fastest growing residential telecom service providers in Britain, on Thursday announced it plans to invest in India’s northeastern region to develop telecom connectivity through WiFi networks.

The company’s group CEO Nigel Eastwood told newsmen here that they had recently announced investments worth $300 million in the next 12-18 months in India.

“We are further planning to invest a good proportion of our investment in the northeastern region of India to develop telecom connectivity through WiFi networks,” Eastwood said.

He said New Call Telecom Ltd. was Britain’s sixth largest internet service provider (ISP) and recently acquired leading global mobile technology brand Nimbuzz.

The company was in the process of acquiring New Delhi-based Ozone Networks, one of the largest WiFi service providers, he said.

Nimbuzz’s revenue has doubled every year for the last three years, while Ozone Networks has doubled its growth in the last seven months, Eastwood said.

“There is dearth of infrastructure without which we cannot tap all those resources available in the northeast. And the most important infrastructure is connectivity and in regards to this, aside from road, rail, and air connectivity, tele-connectivity is most important.

“Thereby, importance of tele-connectivity is unquestionable. We are keen to expand digital connectivity in the northeast which will give people access to varied services over the internet and make their lives easier,” he added.

“The investment will result in providing affordable connectivity to the masses and also generate employment. There is huge opportunity for ICT players to use disruptive technologies to redefine paradigms for delivery of services like health, education and financial inclusion. ICT has the power to transform the very landscape of the northeast region, but this needs a tighter handshake between all stakeholders,” Eastwood added.

With over 750,000 annual subscribers, New Call Telecom is a leader in Britain’s residential telecom market through its brands Fuel Broadband, which offers phone and broadband packages, and Planet Talk, Just Dial and Rate Buster, the low cost international calls services.

New Call Telecom’s group business has seen an increase in its customer base by 227 percent, while turnover has increased by around $210 million per annum.

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