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Hughes to Connect 1,500 Broadband Satellite Sites for R-APDRP Rollout in India

Smart Grid

July 05, 2011

Hughes to Connect 1,500 Broadband Satellite Sites for R-APDRP Rollout in India

By Cheryl Kaften
TMCnet Contributor

Hughes (News - Alert) Communications India, Ltd. (HCIL), a provider of broadband satellite and managed network services, has been awarded two significant contracts under India’s Restructured Accelerated Power Development & Reforms Programme (R-APDRP). The projects will be implemented in the states of Rajashthan and Karanataka .

In 2011, the government of India has earmarked around $537 million for its Restructured Accelerated Power Development & Reforms Programme (R-APDRP)—which is dedicated to fortifying the nation’s utility infrastructure and, specifically, limiting power losses in cities with a population of more than 30,000.

The new contracts are together worth about $45 million, according to Hughes Communication India Director Shivaji Chatterjee, and are expected to connect more than 1,5000 broadband satellite sites across the two states–providing more reliable energy distribution with fewer losses.

"There [are] a lot of losses during power distribution. The use of satellite services would help in reducing such losses," Chatterjee commented.

Rajasthan is the largest state in India, with a population of about 69 million and a geographic area of 132,000 square miles in the northwest part of the country. The first contract was awarded for Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (Jaipur Discom), the utility that supplies electricity in 12 districts of Rajasthan:  Jaipur, Dausa, Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Kota, Bundi, Baran, Jhalawar, Sawaimadhopur, Tonk, and Karoli. Under the terms of the deal, Hughes will provide broadband satellite services connecting 825 locations in this state, alone.

Karanataka has a population of 52 million and a geographic area of 74,000 square miles in the southwest part of India. The second contract was awarded for the five utility companies in Karnataka (BESCOM, CESCOM, MESCOM, GESCOM and HESCOM); and calls for the deployment of a network of 713 satellite terminals, making Hughes is the secondary network bandwidth service provider. The mandate for Hughes across both states is to expand the R-APDRP solutions platform to urban as well as rural areas. The Rajasthan and the Karnataka agreements are for duration of three years and five years, respectively.

Commenting on the contracts, Premal Gandhi, Director of Sales at HCIL,said, “We are extremely pleased to have been chosen as a solutions provider to enhance grid efficiency. Indian utilities are now realizing that the Smart Grid’s promise of ubiquitous, real-time information isn’t feasible without satellite broadband in the networking technology mix. Forty-seven distribution companies across 29 states will benefit through our technology solutions that will assist them in their initiative to cut line losses and increase grid productivity.”

In a company statement, HCIL claimed, “The ideal grid communications network requires multiple transport technologies and standards, including terrestrial fixed and wireless broadband, and all coalescing around an Internet Protocol (IP) backbone. However, a terrestrial-only architecture is vulnerable to disasters on the ground, whether natural or man-made, and cannot alone ensure fail-safe operation. To achieve this means employing a true alternate communications path, which only satellite provides. The resulting hybrid terrestrial and satellite network can realize the high reliability and availability demanded across the entire grid, including the necessary combination of reach, capacity and bandwidth scalability.”

Hughes Communications India Ltd., majority owned by Hughes Network Systems (News - Alert), LLC (Hughes), is India’s premier networking company and India’s largest satellite services operator, offering broadband services.

For more information, visit the Hughes Communications (News - Alert) India Ltd. website.

Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard (News - Alert) Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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