Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wireless broadband options in India

I am looking around for broadband services for my folks in Bangalore. They already have DSL via the state-owned BSNL. But this service is quite unreliable, being disconnected for days at a stretch. Before you draw conclusions about the India and her spotty infrastructure, be aware that this DSL broadband comes for about 5 Euros per month. That is 5 times lesser than comparable DSL in Germany. My way of looking at this is that part of the service offering (the reliability) is traded for the lower costs in India. Off course PPP (purchase power parity) will put 5 Euros in India right around 20 Euros in Berlin, but still, 5 Euros a month is a good deal - after all, people who buy broadband in India are very well off.

So we decided to shop around for cellular broadband services. The reasoning is that if you have a couple of services then at least one should be active at any time. The options are

1. Airtel (USB stick, 3G). Officially works at 115 kbps d/l, actually works at 15-20 kbps according to the salesperson, and costs 10 Euros a month for unlimited service.

2. Reliance (Antenna and coax cable, 3G). Apparently delivers upto 300 kbps, and costs 12 Euros a month for unlimited service. Requires installing an antenna on the rooftop.

I would go with option 2 for home use and option 1 for mobility. My folks have a better idea - just revert to dial-up when the DSL breaks because thats good enough for their need for checking email once a day. Cant argue with that!


Shuva said...

Nice to find your blog. Wish you a happy new year. Wrt to having a DSL, I have been using Airtel DSL and I am pretty happy. It costs me Rs1000/month, with a land line for 512kbps, but it gives me 204.8 kbps upload and download speed effectively.

T-Home said...

India is very much lagging behind in Broadband speed compared to European countries. In Germany, the minimum speed they offer is 1000 kbps upto 50000 kbps d/l.

Sachin said...

The DSL speeds in India are certainly slow but so are the costs compared to EU countries. Its a typical digital divide problem between a developing and developed countries. But maybe India (and other developing countries) can leap-frog VDSL and go with WiMax, or LTE, or some other easily deployable wireless technology.