Offers additional value-added services free of cost.

On info highway

1Mbps speed connection tariff at Rs 1,699 from Rs 2,999 a month

512 kbps connection charge cut by 31 per cent from Rs 1,599 to Rs 1,099 a month

Thomas K. Thomas

New Delhi, July 27

In what could trigger a speed war in the broadband segment, Bharti Airtel has decided to drop tariffs for its various broadband plans by up to 43 per cent.

The company has reduced the monthly fee for 1Mbps speed connection from Rs 2,999 to Rs 1,699 and is also offering additional free value-added services such as games and software worth Rs 500.

Unlimited download

Bharti Airtel has also dropped tariff for the 512 kbps connection by 31 per cent from Rs 1,599 to Rs 1,099 a month, making it one of the cheapest fibre optical cable-based broadband services in the market.

Both these plans offer unlimited download capacity.

Mr K. Srinivas, Joint President, Telemedia Services, Bharti Airtel, told Business Line, “Our internal survey has revealed that subscribers are using more and more bandwidth. From just an average usage of 4Gb a month, broadband users are now using up to 8 Gb. Clearly this kind of usage needs higher speed. The reduction in tariffs is to present an industry first – increased access to ‘true and rich’ broadband experience by making high speed broadband more affordable and offering VAS content on broadband that enriches the customer’s experience.”

Value addition

Bharti has packed in value-added services such as games on demand and anti-virus software. Additionally, download limits on 8 Mbps and 16 Mbps plans have been doubled to 50 GB and 100 GB respectively.

Bharti’s move comes even as other telecom players including Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications are going aggressive on their wireless broadband offerings through third generation technology. Tata Communications, for example, is promising up to 3Mbps speed on its Photon Plus data card.

Mr Srinivas, however, claims that since Bharti Airtel’s broadband services are based on fibre optical cable, it offers superior quality. “It is a known fact that nothing can compare to fixed line broadband as subscribers will get the assured speeds all the time. In the wireless segment, speeds vary depending on the number of users on the network and spectrum availability,” he said.

Both Tata Tele and RCoM also have fibre optical cable-based broadband services and may follow suit with better offerings for the consumer.

Airtel was the first to launch a 16Mbps broadband connection earlier this year. The company offers fibre-optical cable based services in 95 cities and has just over a million broadband users.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 28, 2009)
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