BG Broadband To Spread Net

Mumbai: | Updated: Nov 11 2003, 05:30am hrs
BG Broadband India, a subsidiary of British Gas, will formally launch its broadband services in Pune in the next 4-6 weeks, taking its Indian presence to six cities.

The company plans to start its services in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata this year. BG broadband which offers its services under Iqara brand is already available in Mumbai, Surat, Baroda, Ahmedabad and Vizag. We expect to be available in 10 cities this year, said BG Broadband India chief executive officer EVS Chakravarthy.

The company has 20,000 subscribers, most of which are in residential complexes. Broadband is picking up slowly. We hope to have 25,000 subscribers this year, said Mr Chakravarthy.

BG Broadband offers to last mile cable operators Rs 150 per subscriber and 8 per cent on renewals. This is a different approach from what Sify makes where a 25 per cent commission is paid to the cable operators. We have a revenue sharing arrangement ranging from one-time fee per subscriber to 8 per cent on renewals, depending upon the number of subscribers a cable operator brings for us. They work as our channel partners or distributors. And in case of Sify, cable operators have to make an investment, said Mr Chakravarthy.

BG Broadband offers a surfing speed of 250-300 kbps and a 150 mb limit on data transfer at a monthly fee of Rs 499.

The other packages available are at Rs 750 and Rs 999.

Subscribers will have to use a cable modem, which they can either buy outright or rent out or share with other users.

There is a fair amount of homogenity among subscribers across all the cities. We see traffic coming to us from existing dialup customers, said Mr Chakravarthy.