The country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, on Thursday said it is upgrading its fixed broadband network to provide consumers up to 100Mbps speeds, compared to up to 16Mbps currently.
The company has deployed V-fibre based on Vectorization, a technology most popular in European countries for providing high-speed broadband on fixed lines.
Bharti has begun offering higher-speeds in Chennai and will complete the roll out in 87 cities where it has fixed broadband presence, Ajai Puri, director for operations at Bharti Airtel told FE. The technology deployment is part of Bharti’s “Operation Leap” to upgrade its mobile and fixed telephone networks to provide high-speed broadband, he said.
All existing subscribers of Bharti Airtel have been given an option to upgrade to V-fibre by paying a fee for the modem device while the data will be unlimited for the next three months for the same subscription fee they currently pay, Puri said.
Bharti’s move to deploy a new technology comes as more consumers are increasingly using Wifi networks for browsing the internet, listening to music or to watch videos on their smartphones and tablet computers.
Other telecom operators such as Reliance Jio Infocomm and Vodafone India are also targeting the home broadband users to gain from higher-usage data consumption by users. Between July 2014 and October 2015, cellular data usage grew 80%, while internet usage on Wifi networks surged 164% during the period, according to Ericsson Mobility Report. Also the cost to deliver per megabit of internet provided through Wifi could cost R0.02 while consumers are currently paying R0.23 per MB on 2G/3G/4G networks, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
Reliance Jio Infocomm is rolling out fiber-to-home wireline network in select cities offering data speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second and plans to expand the network further to more cities. The company, late last month, had started sending individual invites to consumers living in flats and apartment complexes in Chennai, to assess interest for its fiber-to-home services Jio Fiber.