India air force signs up RailTel for $12-million info grid order

File Photo: Indian Air Force personnel operating the AFNET.

New Delhi: India‘s air force has signed a $12-million (Rs 90 crore) contract with the public sector RailTel Corporation of India Limited for two-year maintenance of its Air Force Network or AFNET, the company said in a regulatory filing to the bourse on June 25. The deal worth includes 18 per cent Goods and Services Tax.

Air Force Network (AFNET) is an Indian Air Force (IAF) owned, operated and managed digital information grid. The AFNET replaced an old communication network set-up using the troposcatter technology of the 1950s making it a true net-centric combat force.

The IAF project is part of the overall mission to network all the armed forces — the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.

RailTel is a public sector enterprise under the Ministry of Railways. It is an Information and Communication Technology-provider and one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure providers in the country owning a pan-India optic fibre network on exclusive Right of Way (RoW) along railway tracks, covering all important towns and cities of the country, including rural areas.

On Feb. 26, RailTel launched its Initial Public Offering (IPO), which was subscribed by 42.39 times. The issue opened for bidding on Feb. 16 and closed on Feb. 18. The price band for the IPO was set at Rs 93-94 per share.

Shares of RailTel were listed on the stock exchanges on Feb. 26. On day one, the shares of the company on trading closure settled at Rs 121.40 per share on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and Rs 120.60 per share on National Stock Exchange (NSE). The shares touched a high of Rs 125.50 with a premium of 33.51 percent on BSE and Rs 127.85 with a premium of 36.01 percent on NSE.

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