Unlimited broadband plans: what is the future?

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Asterix

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I have been a broadband user for more than three years and I am getting the impression that Indian broadband is stuck in a rut as far as unlimited plans are concerned.IIRC, Airtel first launched unlimited 256K plans for around 1000 p.m in 2005. Since then there has hardly been any progress. Today some ISP's provide 384K for that price which is hardly much. I would have hoped for at least 512K by now.There has been some progress on other fronts: NUL and faster time-bound plans but such plans don't have mass appeal.IMO to develope a mass market Indian broadband needs a 512 UL plan for around 500 p.m. That is the price at which the average middle class family comes into the picture. Again the average person doesn't want to mess around with time limits and download limits and NUL; he or she just wants an internet connection that can be used without worry.If Indian broadband could provide such a plan at a reasonably price they would be astonished at the expansion of the market just like with mobile phones. And looking at the international ISP prices there is no reasons why such a plan wouldn't work.Unfortunately Indian ISP's seem more interested in fleecing a small number of customers than developing a profitable mass market.When will this change? To put it concretely when do you expect to see a 1Mbps plan for 1000? 3 years? 7 years? Never?
 
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warthog

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to be launched soon all over india beginning april
 
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airtel was in the lead initially..even before govt co's launched ADSL, they had a 128 Kbps unltd plan way back in 2003..and if i remember correctly were the 1st ones to launch a 256 K unltd plan..they seem to have lost the initiative once the govt telcos started launching their unltd plans.. i think the single most important thing that govt. can do to kick start the market is unbundling the local loop...unbundling the loop has been the precursor to Broadband revolutions in most countries..if u let the govt behemoth monopolise the local loop, u will never get a revolution..its akin to a single mobile operator monopolising the airwaves (spectrum)..New technologies like wimax promise to make DSL redundant..but even today in developed countries wi-max exists but DSL remains the number one choice for home internet access...DSL does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon... therefore making the copper freely accessible to pvt operators seems to be the easiest solution to get quick results..
 
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vivekindia

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railwire is your answer

Railwire - Home

to be launched soon all over india beginning april

how is the service of railwire?
 
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Topweb

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I started using internet in 1997. First connection was a VSNL dial-up costing Rs. 3400 for 100 hours plus cost of phone calls. Each phone call used to cost Rs. 1.2 for 3 minutes. So call cost was Rs/ 24 per hour and Rs. 34/hour paid to VSNL for a 33 kbps connection. If I look closely, then my hourly cost has remained the same over the last 12-13 years. Although I am now using 2 mbps connection.I own a small software development, web design and management company here in Delhi. Recently I was approached by a foreign customer for a job that involved downloading about 10 GB data every day and uploading the same amount of data to the servers of the customer in the USA. I reckoned I needed a good 10 mbps connection with same download and upload speed to do the job. A backup connection was also neeed. So asked for quotations from various providers.Lowest quote was from a provider named Tulip for Rs. 60000 + service tax per month for a wireless connection where they told me that a receiver will be put on my rooftop and it will get signals from one of their tower that is about 1 KM away from my office building. The sales guy was not even aware of the name of the technology being used by their company but I guess it is the same crappy wimax technology that is used by Reliance broadnet.So, I sent a quote to the customer with breakup of my major input costs like broadband and data storage rack that I had to buy here. He was stunned to see what I had factored as broadband connection cost. He told me that he was payng $140 for 50 mbps down 20 mbps up unlimited FIOS connection from Verizon. Needless to say, I was asking for too much money and I was aware of that and hence never got the contract.Moral of the story. Indian IT businesses, both small and large are paying too much money for the basic infrastructure which includes good broadband connections and hence are losers in international business arena. So what is the reason for this mess? It is our uneducated politicians like A. Raja, our telecom minister who has done nothing in last 2-3 years except giving out 2G cellphone licenses without auction. Then we have babus in sarkari offices who have gotten their jobs due to our rotten quota system that rewards the less capable people. This government of ours has not been able to auction 3g licenses despite declaring several time-tables over that last 2 years. Right now when Obama is including Nobel Prize winners in his cabinet, We have a convicted murderer Shibu Soren in our government. I'm not even starting to talk about Amar Singh yet. Obama talked about spending money on broadband in his inauguration speech. What can we expect a Lalu Prasad or a Shibu Soren to talk about in cabinet meetings?So, can we expect scene to change in next few years. I bet no. Coming back to the topic at hand... what is the future? Don't expect 10 mbps unlimited connections to be available in India for at least next 20 years. We can hope for a 2 mbps unlimited connection in next 10 years or so. :wall:Sorry for the long post but I am just sick of the state of affairs in our country.
 
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s.ricky

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absolutely correct
 


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I work for a one of the top Software development company here in bangalore.. and about 6 back months my team was working on an AT&T project.. The client called me on my cellphone at morning 2 as there was some issue with the software we were developing.. I had to login to my system from home.. I had a TATA Indicom Walky dail up connection tat time..I had kept it jus to check my personal mail.. when I tried logging in it took my 25-30 min to login to the remote desktop, and it was so dam slow..the client kept asking me are u logging on again and again and I kept telling him..give me some time..eventually he disconnected and then next morning there was an escalation mail which went to my senior managers and copying the India head stating that employees are laid back and dont support 24*7 (it was mentioned in the contract).. Which also effected my annual performance.. am just trying to add some points what topweb wrote.. Nothing happens in India untill you dont pay those Babus beneth the table.. I had applied for a BSNL broadband connection in Aug 2008 and till today there is no hope of the connection.. when I contacted to the senior officers at BSNL they said.. pay 1000 and we will give u connection tomorrow.. I jus told him.. Thank u and came back.. from then have been using Reliance..(not wimax).. it works fine but the conection is down for almost 5-8 days in a month.. huh..
 
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Topweb

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Well here they go again. Auction for 3g spectrum has been postponed again. Since the interim budget will be presented on 15th Feb 2009 and then this government will dissolve. Looks like the auction will be held a few months after the new government is in place in May or June. Not that I am hoping for 3G or wimax to do wonders here in 'mera bharat mahan'.

Cabinet defers 3G auction again

Please don't forget to see the photo of our telecom minister A. Raja while you read the article.
 
iChaitanya

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You people are right but the thing is : More Demand = More Supply.Currently, the demand is less so the supply is less.Don't forget that India has the cheapest calling rates in the World. Why? That's because of the volume (the demand). Same rule applies to broadband. Broadband is still more of a luxury than a necessity here. :confused:
 
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Topweb

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I work for a one of the top Software development company here in bangalore.. and about 6 back months my team was working on an AT&T project.. The client called me on my cellphone at morning 2 as there was some issue with the software we were developing.. I had to login to my system from home.. I had a TATA Indicom Walky dail up connection tat time..I had kept it jus to check my personal mail.. when I tried logging in it took my 25-30 min to login to the remote desktop, and it was so dam slow..the client kept asking me are u logging on again and again and I kept telling him..give me some time..eventually he disconnected and then next morning there was an escalation mail which went to my senior managers and copying the India head stating that employees are laid back and dont support 24*7 (it was mentioned in the contract).. Which also effected my annual performance..


I access my windows 2003 servers in USA from my home sometimes on an Airtel 256 kbps DSL connections. My experience is that even a 256 kbps connection is not sufficient. You need a good 512 kbps connection to do anything. Trying to use remote desktop on Tata Indicom or Reliance CDMA connections is simply a wastage of time IMHO.

Further I have lost counts on how many times I was talking to a client in USA on VOIP (Skype or Yahoo) and the call dropped or a conversation on Yahoo messenger ended abruptly because my Airtel DSL connection went down for 5-10 minutes.

You people are right but the thing is : More Demand = More Supply.

Currently, the demand is less so the supply is less.

Don't forget that India has the cheapest calling rates in the World. Why? That's because of the volume (the demand). Same rule applies to broadband. Broadband is still more of a luxury than a necessity here. :confused:

I don't agree with you. Demand is less because cost is so high. It is a perfect chickens or the eggs situation. Demand will not jump unless the prices come down first.

When I bought my first cellphone in 1998 (or was it 1999), I was paying Rs 16.5 per minute for both outgoing and incoming calls. Cellphone was a status symbol for most people or a cool gadget for me. Cellphone subscriber base jumped in 2001-2002 when both MTNL/BSNL launched their services with per minute call rate of Rs 2 to Rs 4 and now everyone who could afford to spend Rs. 300 per month could get a cellphone. India was adding under 1 lakh cellphone users every month at that time. With prices coming down now we have 8 million or more people are buying cellphones every month in our country. So the prices came down first and the user base started expanding a few months or may be an year after that.

Similar things can happen with broadband also. If the price of a 256 kbps unlimited connection is brought down to under Rs 250 per month and a 2 mbps connection under Rs 700 per month, then the broadband penetration will just jump in our country. Remember there is a service tax too which adds to the overall cost significantly.

But a 2 mbps unlimited for Rs 700 appears to be a distant dream...
 
iChaitanya

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2 Mbps UL for 700 INR? It's gonna take lot of time. I am pretty sure about that.
 
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Topweb

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2 Mbps UL for 700 INR?

It's gonna take lot of time. I am pretty sure about that.

Our Indian ISPs can follow the examples of what a lot of foreign ISPs are doing.

They should give a respectable download limit of say 30 to 60GB per month for Rs. 700 or so per month at max speed like 8 mbps or even 20 mbps. Once you have exhausted your monthly download quota of 30GB, you will get downgraded to a 128 kbps unlimited connection. This will ensure that you get a monthly bill of fixed amount irrespective of your usage.

This will ensure that P2P (torrent) downloaders don't end up downloading every bit of porn that is available online. On the other hand an average user will be happy with a 30GB limit at 8 mbps and more at 128 kbps.
 
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Asterix

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Great posts Tobweb and I agree that a plan with a reasonable limit and a slower connection after that limit would work well. Most people would never reach the 30GB limit anyway and the important thing is that their monthly bill would never go beyond a fixed amount.Right now not only are the unlimited connection slow and expensive the limited plans have the most absurd prices per MB after the limit. IIRC it's still 1 rupee per MB at MTNL which is completely crazy and could lead to bills of tens of thousands of rupees for someone who doesn't understand downloads very well.Indian ISP's seem to delight in keeping things complicated with time limits, download limits, NUL and so on without realizing that the average person just doesn't want all this complexity especially if he or she could be saddled with huge bills.Like I said I think Indian broadband will take off when 512UL is offered for about 500 p.m. 512 is the speed at which your typical Internet video can be enjoyed in real time. 500 p.m. is the kind of price a middle class family would consider affordable. The trouble is the progress of unlimited plans has slowed down considerably in the last few years. Let's hope Railtel will shake things up though I don't know much about them.
 
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international ISPs also do throttling of speeds on p2p networks and they are also implementing fingerprinting technologies. some ISPs have signed deals with media companies to disconnect customers who are found downloading/uploading copyrighted material on the web.
 
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Topweb

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international ISPs also do throttling of speeds on p2p networks and they are also implementing fingerprinting technologies.

some ISPs have signed deals with media companies to disconnect customers who are found downloading/uploading copyrighted material on the web.

I am all for throttling of speeds on P2P networks enabling download of pirated stuff if it can help reduce the cost of broadband for an average user who is using internet for legitimate purpose.