One of the major problems that I face during my travel to India is the speed and reliability of broadband connections. In US, majority of users have 4 to 6 mbps lines at their home and reliability problems are next to none. Downloading a gigabyte files or watching a movie online is never a problem.
However, it is not the case back in India. During my visit last year for nearly a month, a day did not pass by when I did not have some or the other Internet connection problems. I had taken a 512 kbps line, but never gave me a download speed more than 20kbps. To add to frustration was frequent downtimes and most pathetic customer service ever!
Just to give you an idea of what I am saying, watch this video (this is a must watch, most of you may relate it with your own experience)
Are you one such frustrated internet user?Â Just today, I read the news that Airtel is launching an 8 mbps broadband line in India. I was quite surprised given the lack of overall internet Bandwidth in India. After reading the whole news, I am sure it is just another gimmick to get publicity and more subscribers.
Internet Bandwidth generally comes in 2 flavors, dedicated and shared. In most cases the bandwidth is shared and the speed to end user depends on how many users have logged in at any given moment of time. More the user less the speed. If that is the case with this line then it hardly makes any sense to call it an 8mbps line. The important part is how much speed does Airtel guarantee to the end user.
And if it is a dedicated 8 mbps line, what are the costs. As per the news,
For 8 Mbps, Airtel is likely to charge Rs 75 – Rs 150 per hour. The charges for a limited 8 mbps download account could be around Rs 1,999, according to Airtel officials.
What I can say from this is if you want a dedicated line pay Rs.100 or more per hour or get a shared line for Rs. 2000 pm where you may not get guarantee of internet bandwidth.
India is witnessing tremendous growth in number of Internet and Telecom subscribers, but are the quality and service levels improving?