Surfs up for corporate Internet users

Updated: Jan 31 2002, 05:30am hrs
The Internet user now has all the reasons to smile as another round of price cut in Internet services awaits them. Courtesy the reduction in the international bandwidth rental by 35 to 40 per cent and direct selling of bandwidth by FLAG to ISPs, corporate and retail Internet user can easily expect a price reduction of atleast 10 per cent.

Most of the ISPs like HCLInfinet, Net4india, Mantraonline and even the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), share the view that in the next 6 to 12 months, the Internet services prices will further come down.

The Internet business is now truly opened up, we expect to cut down the prices of Internet services to both the corporate and retail by over 15 per cent in the next 9 months, Net4india chief operating officer Uday Suri said.

Corporate customers for Net4india account for almost 95 per cent of the total subscribers.

HCLInfinet, Net4india and Mantraonline, the ISP brand for Bharti Broadband Networks Limited, together see this move of VSNL as a reaction to i2i cable having been laid in Chennai.

HCLInfinet, which is targeting only the corporate customers, is ready to reduce Internet service prices by 10 to 20 per cent in the next 12 months. ISPs will majorily reduce prices of Internet services to the corporates but not much in the retail segment, HCLInfinet CEO Saurabh Adhikari said.

ISPAI secretary Amitabh Singhal also expects the reduction in international bandwidth to reduce the total costs for the ISPs by 7 per cent.

However, VSNL CMD SK Gupta, does not see the benefits of the price reduction being passed on to the consumer. Most ISPs, including VSNL, are making a loss on Internet services in the retail segment. The reduction in cost of bandwidth will help us improve margins, Mr Gupta said.