Convergence Plus
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Wireline broadband: Airtel to fight speed war ahead of Jio's fixed-line launch

Wireline broadband: Airtel to fight speed war ahead of Jio's fixed-line launch“It's quite a substantial cost and comes in millions of dollars and is a part of our capex guideline for this year,” Puri said, adding that the telco has telco scaled up its investments for wireline substantially this year to cater new homes and upgrades connections.
After getting its wireless networks equipped with technologies like carrier aggregation, India’s leading telco Bharti Airtel is now gearing up to fight the speed war on the next front, fixed wireline broadband, in a bid to ring fence its customers in the lead up to Reliance Jio Infocomm’s launch of fixed-line broadband services, likely to start next year.

Airtel has deployed Vectorization technology, a top standard for fixed broadband across Europe, to offer up to 100 Mbps of broadband speeds on its fixed broadband footprint in 87 cities. This is the first deployment in India and one of the largest deployments in the world.

Airtel has selected Chinese gear maker Huawei for the upgradation of its broadband network. The telco is currently offering up to 16 Mbps speeds depending on the location in these cities.

Initially available to customers in Chennai, the upgraded service will soon be available free of cost to the entire Airtel fixed-line broadband customers in coming weeks. Airtel is offering unlimited three months trial offer to new broadband customers to quickly increase the subscriber base in these cities.

“Customers are moving from 2G speeds to 3G/4G broadband speeds now. At home, they need Wi-Fi on a wireline. Requirements for speeds go up substantially as people connect more devices on the same network, therefore it gets important to update the speed,” Ajai Puri, director-operations at Bharti Airtel, told ET. (Source: Economic Times)

BSNL working to increase mobile broadband capacity by up to two-fold

BSNL working to increase mobile broadband capacity by up to two-foldGearing up to compete with private players, state-owned telecom firm BSNL plans to ramp up its mobile broadband capacity by up to two-fold to 600 terrabyte in a month. "We are seeing enormous increase in usage of mobile data on our network. We will be increasing our data network capacity to deliver high-speed 3G and other services. In South, we will double the capacity to 600 TB and in other zones, it will be up to 450 TB by November," BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava told PTI. The loss-making state-run telecom firm did not participate in the spectrum auction and is making efforts to monetise its existing mobile airwaves.

Shrivastava said the recently launched unlimited 3G scheme for Rs 1,099 is one of the key reasons for increase in demand for mobile data on BSNL network. The plan offers unlimited access to 3G without any speed restriction for a period of 30 days.

"In 2012, data usage on BSNL network was around 80 TB. After recent unlimited 3G Internet scheme we have seen sudden jump in data usage. In July it was around 279 TB which has now gone up to 353 TB," Shrivastava said. He said that average data download per customer under the plan has been around 2.2 GB which means 66 GB per customer in a month. This corresponds to storing of around 100 Bollywood movies in a month in medium resolution on smartphones.

On the other hand, at a price of around Rs 1,100, private telecom operators data download limit is in the range of 7GB to 11 GB.
New entrant Reliance Jio is offering unlimited 4G data free till the end of this year. From January 1, the company will offer unlimited 4G data at starting price of Rs 19 but the 'unlimited' 4G usage will remain valid during night hours. Shrivastava said that BSNL is ready to compete with any telecom operator in the market.

"...We will match any tariff in the market. It will be as competitive as any of the players in the market. We are already offering 300 GB of data usage for Rs 249 per month on fixed broadband connection. It is valid for six months and no other operator has been able to match it," Shrivastava said. (

BSNL’s unlimited broadband plan will offer 1GB at less than Re 1

BSNL’s unlimited broadband plan will offer 1GB at less than Re 1State-run BSNL has announced that it will soon launch a promotional unlimited wireline broadband plan that effectively translates into less than Re 1 per GB download cost for subscribers if they use up to 300GB data in a month. Attempting to take Reliance Jio’s 4G offer of Rs 50 per GB head-on, BSNL is looking to hook new customers to its wireline broadband offering. “BSNL is going to launch a very cost-effective and affordable promotional unlimited Broadband plan ‘Experience Unlimited BB 249′ from September 9, 2016,” the telecom PSU said in a statement.

“The plan will enhance the customer experience towards wireline broadband services and attract new users to experience BSNL broadband services,” the corporation’s Chairman cum Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said in a statement. “Under this plan, customers can download unlimited Broadband data without bothering about any data limit. BSNL shall offer 2 Mbps speed under this plan,” the statement said. BSNL said that if customers use the plan continuously in a month, they can download up to 300 GB data by paying Rs 249. “Hence, per GB data download cost comes out to be less than Re 1 per GB. After six months, customer will be migrated to one of the regular broadband plans based on the choice of the customer,” BSNL said. (Source: Indian Express)

Minimum broadband speed set to zoom 4-fold to 2 mpbs

Minimum broadband speed set to zoom 4-fold to 2 mpbsTired of poor broadband speeds and painfully slow downloads? That's about to change soon, with the government looking to mandate a four-fold increase in the minimum broadband speed — from 512 kbps (kilobits per second) to 2 mbps (megabits per second). Tired of poor broadband speeds and painfully slow downloads? That's about to change soon, with the government looking to mandate a four-fold increase in the minimum broadband speed — from 512 kbps (kilobits per second) to 2 mbps (megabits per second).

"I propose to take up the matter with the communications ministry," IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told TOI. "We will consider laying down a policy for increasing the minimum broadband speed from the current levels." The thriving start-up eco-system across the country and delivery of a variety of consumer services through mobile phone apps, including online retail, taxis and social media, are among the reasons that have led to the push for upgrading the minimum internet speed on wire and wireless networks.

The last time minimum internet speed was revised was in August 2014 when it was doubled from 256 kbps to 512 kbps. Experts and industry analysts say that the present speed is "abysmally slow". Prasad said that he expected telecom operators across the country to "appreciate" the move, which will now be taken up with the various stakeholders. (Source: ET Telecom)

Trai extends dates for views on broadband through public Wi-Fi till Aug 24

Trai extends dates for views on broadband through public Wi-Fi till Aug 24The telecom regulator Friday extended dates for stakeholder comments on issues in proliferation of broadband through public Wi-Fi networks to August 24 and counter comments till September 7. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had issued the consultation paper on July 13, seeking views on policy or regulatory enablers needed for deployment of ubiquitous citywide Wi-Fi networks and whether additional frequency bands need to de-licenced to promote the technology and deepen broadband penetration. "Keeping in view the request of stakeholders for extension of time for sending their comments, it has been decided to extend the last date for submission of written comments," the regulator said.

Trai had sought views on measures required to encourage inter-operability between cellular and Wi-Fi networks and also between Wi-Fi networks of multiple service providers in India and overseas and wanted feedback on whether any regulatory and licensing hurdles could potentially hinder growth of Wi-Fi in public places. It also wanted to know the challenges faced in the authentication procedure for access to Wi-Fi hotspots and ways to ensure simplified access for both domestic users and foreign tourists. (Source: ET Telecom)

ACT Fibernet launches high-speed broadband services in Delhi

ACT Fibernet launches high-speed broadband services in DelhiBengaluru-based Atria Convergence Technologies Private Limited (ACT) Fibernet has begun offering its broadband services in the Delhi region. The services, however, are available in Southern part of the city, covering areas like Safdarjung, Green Park, Kalkaji and Malviya Nagar. The ISP offers services in cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, and Visakhapatnam. The internet services provider's data plans start from Rs. 999 for 50 GB usage and go up to Rs Rs. 1999 for 50 GB usage.

The Rs 999 plan, called ACT Bronze plan, offers up to 50GB under the Fair Usage Policy (FUP) at a speed of 30Mbps. After the mentioned FUP, the speed will get reduced to 512Kbps.

The ACT Silver plan, priced at Rs 1199, offers 75GB data usage at a speed of 40Mbps. The Gold plan, priced at Rs 1499, offers 100GB at a speed of 60Mbps, while the ACT Platinum plan offers 150GB data usage at a speed of 100Mbps, and is priced at Rs 1999. (Source: ET telecom)

Ancestral villages of two India-born Nobel Prize winners to get Wi-Fi

RailTel blames delay in fibre cable rollout to slow RoW clearances, inhospitable terrainCrowning Glory This year, World WiFi Day will mark the debut of digital wireless connections at the ancestral villages of celebrated scientists CV Raman and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. Come World WiFi Day on June 20, around 1,000 families in the ancestral villages of two Nobel laureates from India -CV Raman and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar -will get connected digitally. Purasakkudi and Mangudi (also known as Agaramangudi) are barely 20 km from the bustling temple town of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.But despite producing two worldrenowned physicists, these villages are practically unheard of.

WiFi solutions provider Microsense has undertaken a project backed by global body Wireless Broadband Alliance. The company will set up hotspots for internet access at various locations in the village that includes the panchayat office and residential localities. (Source: Times of India)

RailTel blames delay in fibre cable rollout to slow RoW clearances, inhospitable terrain

RailTel blames delay in fibre cable rollout to slow RoW clearances, inhospitable terrainRailTel, the telecom arm of Railways, has blamed continuing delay in optical fibre cable rollouts linked to the national broadband project, BharatNet, to slow right of way (RoW) clearances, inhospitable terrain, dismal weather and manpower shortage in the country's far flung corners. Small wonder, it has concluded only a third of its targeted 30,000-km OFC rollout for the BharatNet project across Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Northeast and the Union Territories of Puducherry, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Earlier this year, the telecom regulator had cited RoW as a major risk factor, and had urged the telecom department (DoT) to pave the way for a guaranteed provision of free RoW as a necessary and non-negotiable precondition for speedy deployment of BharatNet.

RailTel Chairman R K Bahuguna blamed the company's slow pace of OFC deployment primarily to delayed RoW clearances, tardy land-related clearances from forest authorities, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and other departments. "Bottlenecks such as paucity of manpower in remote areas across the Northeast coupled with harsh terrain are also hindering the Bharat-Net rollout," Bahuguna told ET. RailTel has also faced obstacles in TN, where it still has not received permission to roll out OFC. The southern state, it is learnt, was keen to create its own statewide broadband network. (source: ET Telecom)

Re-impose import duty on mobile phone components: Broadband India Forum

Re-impose import duty on mobile phone components: Broadband India ForumBroadband India Forum has asked the telecoms ministry to levy the combined 29 per cent duty on batteries, chargers, wired headsets and populated PCBs. A forum representing technology, research and development, and chip design providers has asked the government to re-impose the import duty on mobile phone components, arguing that it must take the next step towards bringing full-scale manufacturing in the country. Broadband India Forum, which represents a gamut of companies including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Hughes, Qualcomm, satellite communication provider Intelsat and Swedish wi-fi provider Bluetown, has asked the telecoms ministry to levy the combined 29% duty on batteries, chargers, wired headsets and populated printed circuit boards (PCBs), and argued that the move to partially roll back this duty would not be in the interest of the government's 'Make in India' and 'Design in India' campaigns.

"The recent announcement has pushed the country back to the days of phone assembly, instead of progressing to a phased-manufacturing regime," said TV Ramachandran, president, Broadband India Forum. "We request the government to withdraw this notification immediately," the forum said in a note to the departments of electronics and information technology (DeitY), telecom (DoT) and industrial policy and promotion (DIPP). The government partly rolled back the 29% import duty that it had imposed in the 2016-17 Budget on mobile phone components such as charger, battery, adapter and wired headsets through a notification on May 6, such that importers need to pay only countervailing duty of 12.5%. The government rolled back the basic custom duty and special additional duty on these products.

Separately, it also rolled back the special additional duty on printed PCB from 2% and made it zero. PCB is one of the most critical components to make smartphones and accounts for 15-18% of the manufacturing cost of a smartphone. The broadband forum warned that no entity would design and invest in R&D in India if the PCB continues to be imported from China at no import cost, in fully-manufactured form. In doing so, it has gone against lobby groups representing handset makers that had sought the rollbacks. (Source: ET Telecom)

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