Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The State of Broadband in India

In recent times, many content streaming services have been introduced in India. Simultaneously, there has been a huge move towards digitization of various services from governance and banking to shopping and business, so there is increased usage of online data. For this reason, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked telecom companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to enhance their broadband speeds.

With its directive, TRAI has suggested that it wants to set a minimum download speed that the broadband providers should give. TRAI has set the benchmark at 512 Kbps from the current 256 Kbps. 

In 2011 too, TRAI had recommended this. At that time, it said that the minimum benchmark by 2015 will be 2 Mbps.   

Broadband in India                                                                       
TRAI reports state that more than 1.03 billion people in India use a wireless device. It expects a 30% increase in the numbers by 2017. In June 2015, it was reported that 354 million people in India use the internet. 

TRAI also reports that India has more than 108.95 million wireless broadband connections. In September 2015, there were 104.28 million broadband subscribers, which increased by more than 4 million in a month. But, the growth in wired broadband connections during the same period was 140,000, which is only 0.87%.

Industry experts say that the benchmark of 512 Kbps is not up to the mark. Users pay heavily for fiber connections and face data cap issues. The average internet speed in the world is 5 Mbps. As per Akamai 2015, India is fourth-last as it has only 14% connections with speeds of more than 4 Mbps.

The analysis indicates that a lack of value plans has slowed the broadband adoption rate in India. The Fair Usage Policy (FUP) plans that companies follow have been opposed by both critics and customers.

To overcome these challenges, India needs to focus on networking technologies. It needs to offer better speeds to customers and a good internet experience.

Tikona offering Good Speeds at Low Rates

Tikona Digital Networks is one such company in India that offers efficient speeds, while their charges are minimal. Tikona broadband has plans that cost even less than INR 600.

At INR 650 per month, subscribers enjoy speeds of 4 Mbps with 15 GB of data. For just INR 149 more, the speed can be increased to 10 Mbps with 20 GB of data.

There are a number of plans for customers, allowing users to select the most suitable plan, based on their usage requirements. The plans offer different speeds and data limits at different prices. Importantly, the company ensures that all of its plans deliver high speeds at low rates. This, along with the efficient customer service explains why the Tikona review section is filled with so many favorable comments from users. 

Rural India to be Completely Digitalized

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested a public-private partnership (PPP) model to launch the broadband network in rural India.

TRAI’s Recommendations

TRAI has recommended that the PPP model should align incentives with long-term service delivery. It said that the deployment, implementation, and operation of the optical fiber cable and other network infrastructure should be done by the concessionaire. This should be done on a contract basis of around 25 years. The contract may be given an extension of 10 to 30 years.

The current government had committed that the complete rollout of the optical fiber network will be done by the end of 2016. In January this year, telecom secretary, Rakesh Garg pushed the deadline to 2018.

According to TRAI, the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) has failed to increase broadband subscription in India. That is why TRAI feels that a concessionaire should roll out the broadband network.

TRAI said that the central, as well as the state government, should become anchor clients of this project, so that they purchase at least 100 megabits per second of bandwidth at market rates.

In addition, TRAI suggested that 50% of the optical fiber should be reserved for cable service providers and telecom companies. It also said that the government should become a minority partner of the concessionaire with a 26% stake.

Aim of Digitization for Rural India

A few months ago, President Pranab Mukherjee had expressed his views on digitization. He expressed the opinion that it is very important for all homes even in rural India to be connected with the internet. He also said that the participation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will play a crucial role in this.

He stressed the importance of innovation. Any company, big or small may come up with an excellent innovative solution to spread digitization in rural India.

Tikona’s Role in Digitization

Tikona DigitalNetworks, a Mumbai-based company offers next generation secured wireless broadband connections to home and office users. It serves 25 cities in the country. The company is moving mountains with its services in urban as well as rural India.

Founded in 2008, the company has immense potential and a great vision that could help spear head the digitization of India. Tikonabroadband will drive internet growth across the country and is now preparing to establish its service till the last mile.

In August 2015, Kerala became a ‘complete digital state.’ Tikona desires and aims to help make all the remaining 28 states of the country gain this status. It is working on the same by providing efficient and seamless broadband service.