Saturday, October 22, 2005

Broadband in India a pathetic lie

With the kind of tarrif structure broadband can never ever take off in India. I guess there are a bunch or morons who make the telecom policy in India who have little or no idea what a KB, MB or GB is. To have a sample of this take a look at the tarrif plans offered by BSNL in thier GPRS segment.

Rs. 199 rental scheme 10p per kb which works out to be roughly Rs. 100 per MB :) and the other scheme is Rs 345 which offers unlimited download. I mean where is the logic in offering the 199 scheme. Its is to screw up the normal person who has little or no idea about these things. One of my friends had opted for the 345 scheme but the wise guy at the exchange changed it to 199 and my friend got a bill of Rs. 12,000. Cause he had downloaded 100 MB of data. So if he had got the 345 scheme he would pay Rs. 345 but due to the staff who know little about KB, MB or GB he would have to shell out 12,000.

Then comes the other offering by BSNL and the other private players. Broadband with limits, 1 GB is the max you can download. I was going through the FAQs for one of these companies. It stated that in 1GB I could download "20000" pages of html. Or I could watch 1 hour of live video which would work out to a little over 100-200 MB per hour. So that way I could watch 10 hours of streaming video for "just" Rs. 500 if I use BSNL, Rs. 895 if I am using TATA and a simlar scheme by Airtel broadband.

What all can I do with 1 GB(Giga Byte) download?

One GB is 1024 Megabyte or 1073741824 bytes. You can do the following with 1 GB download limit :

1. An average web page is about 50 kilobytes in size - so you could
download around 20,000 web pages for 1 gigabyte.
2. An hour of surfing the web would be around 10 megabytes (200 pages)
so you could surf non-stop for about 100 hours for 1 gigabyte.
3. An hour of streamed radio would use about 15-20 megabytes.
4. An hour of streamed video uses around 100-150 megabytes.
5. Playing an online game typically uses about 10-15 megabytes per hour.
6. Emails are very small - so 100 emails would be just 1 megabyte - or 100,000 emails for 1 gigabyte! (of course the attachments count extra)
7. A super-high resolution (5-6 megapixel) digital camera JPEG picture or typical MP3 music file is about 2-3 megabytes so you could download 350-500 of these images/music files for 1 gigabyte.

Very few users would actually exceed the download limits set.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

The really funny part if the last line "Very few users would actually exceed the download limits" and who was the wise guy who checked how people actually surf the net. I really do not know who is the idiot who seems to be making all these policies about the broadband with limits. All over the world India is one of the clever countries which seems to have this to "curb" the use of broadband. And just to remind you these are for the basic 256 kbps line.

As far as GPRS is concerned after all my love hate relationship with Airtel. From what I know they seem to work out the cheapest atleast till today. Tommorow is another day. Hutch seems to believe that they also need to charge just 10p per kb. Which again works out to be Rs. 100 per MB. So how does GPRS work and why is it so expensive?

Is GPRS expensive to implement in the network?

A quick answer, all networks after 2000 would be GPRS enabled by default. Again that is a rough date actually it should be 1998 but just to be on the safer side. As for a fact EGPRS/EDGE is expensive because there is a cost factor in changing the network equipment. But for GPRS most networks right from being setup are GPRS enabled. There the cost makes little or no sense.

The voice data is always given preference over the GPRS data. So if there are too many voice calls the GPRS links would be disconnected not the other way round. So in a way GPRS makes optimum use of the resources, i.e. only if the operators knew it. I mean all of them seem to be bunch of idiots who have no idea about technology but are there 'cause they are there.

If the situation reamins like this I don't see broadband making inroads for the next 10 years. Here is a sample listing from a ISP in UK. The unlimited 512K line is Rs. 2000 again on the safer side (24.99 * 80). I am taking the exchange rate of 1 UK Pound = Rs 80.

Will we get these kind of speeds at this price in India? With the kind of dumbos who make the policies I seriously doubt it. Get people who know technology on board and then see broadband really take off.

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Askinstoo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rohit Kumar said...

I think we are in the limited scope of things as they are up in the north. Down south we got pretty good Internet Services which offer a decent price, QoS ratio. At the mentioned 2000 Rs., i can get real broadband as expected in Hyderabad. I was using a Rs.800 connection at home when i was in Hyderabad at it was unlimited close to broadband (as long as i keep myself away from Torrents). Good enough for any Music, Streaming, Web, Email, and all that.

Yup, have to agree on the point that majority of the BSNL decision makers dont know anything about what they are talking about.

Vivek Jishtu said...

I had a connection for Rs. 800 in gurgaon and it was good with unlimited downloads. The local cable guy claimed it to be 128 kbps but I really doubted his claim but overall it was better than the usual stuff. So I guess unless you live in a bigger city like delhi, hyderabad or some other bigger city you are screwed.

Pallab said...

I am currently stuck with the Rs 1200 per month business plan of Dataone.
I find even 4gb too little.

Anonymous said...

Hutch is charging 50p/10 kb for data transfer which is over 50 Rs. per MB! You will know how small an MB is when you are just browsing the net, leave alone downloading songs, movies, etc. Money will just vanish in this digital smoke into thin air. What does Hutch think? Do they assume they are giving us gold dust through that GPRS connection...seriously it is like paying for gold for surfing the net! A simple insight into GPRS being not that expensive to implement for the operators is apparent from Vivek's points. I ditched Hutch Access and am now using Airtel mobile office which works around much, much cheaper. Airtel is charging me only Rs. 3 per MB for any data transfer with 1 GB free for Rs 599 monthly rental. It is out of my mind how Hutch is even now running scot-free with this tariff!!! Guys, do something... Thank you to Airtel.

Rocktim bora said...

I Think the people in bsnl are real idiots.why should they limit download
it is totally insane to do that.we in india constantly surf the net.

I AM HIGHLY DISSAPOINTED WITH BSNL ANd through this website i want to reguest bsnl to please wave the download limit for broadband